Mr. Maxwell's Mouse

( 1 )

Overview

Mr. Maxwell is one contented cat. He has just been promoted. And what better way to celebrate than by going to his favorite restaurant, the Paw and Claw? He decides to live a little and order the house specialty -- a live mouse. When the headwaiter asks if they should kill the mouse, Mr. Maxwell says that isn't necessary. He knows the Paw and Claw's mice are bred for politeness! But this particular live mouse can't keep quiet -- would Mr. Maxwell like to add a little salt? Or order a glass of wine? Would he mind ...
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Overview

Mr. Maxwell is one contented cat. He has just been promoted. And what better way to celebrate than by going to his favorite restaurant, the Paw and Claw? He decides to live a little and order the house specialty -- a live mouse. When the headwaiter asks if they should kill the mouse, Mr. Maxwell says that isn't necessary. He knows the Paw and Claw's mice are bred for politeness! But this particular live mouse can't keep quiet -- would Mr. Maxwell like to add a little salt? Or order a glass of wine? Would he mind saying a little prayer before eating? My, what a bold and wordy mouse! Mr. Maxwell hopes the mouse doesn't give him indigestion ? Richly illustrated and full of surprises, Mr. Maxwell's Mouse is a David-and-Goliath story with claws, whiskers and tails.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
The story, rarefied and arch, revels in its elegant surroundings.
From the Publisher
This father/son team has concocted a delicious cat-and-mouse tale in which small outsmarts large. Visually stunning, the period setting, captivating illustrations, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue create a delectable tail, er, tale of one-upmousemanship to be savored.

This father/son team has concocted a delicious cat-and-mouse tale in which small outsmarts large. Visually stunning, the period setting, captivating illustrations, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue create a delectable tail, er, tale of one-upmousemanship to be savored.

The story, rarefied and arch, revels in its elegant surroundings.

The story, rarefied and arch, revels in its elegant surroundings.

Readers will relish the formal language as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to a very funny, if macabre, story. ... A truly scrumptious treat.

Readers will relish the formal language as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to a very funny, if macabre, story. ... A truly scrumptious treat.

Father-son team Frank and Devin Asch here team up for a cat-and-mouse tale that showcases the younger Asch’s lush digital artistic talents, alongside the elder’s witty text.

Father-son team Frank and Devin Asch here team up for a cat-and-mouse tale that showcases the younger Asch’s lush digital artistic talents, alongside the elder’s witty text.

Publishers Weekly
Father-son team Frank and Devin Asch (Like a Windy Day; Baby Duck's New Friend) here team up for a cat-and-mouse tale that showcases the younger Asch's lush digital artistic talents, alongside the elder's witty text. Lunching at the opulent Paw and Claw to celebrate his job promotion, Mr. Maxwell, a genteel black cat, forgoes his usual baked mouse for an order of mixed green salad and a main dish of raw mouse. The artist characterizes the restaurant-as well as the proportions and dress of its feline patrons-as decidedly human and upscale; he underscores the grave theme with somber shades of olive brown and rusty red. Yet he leavens the proceedings when Mr. Maxwell's entree arrives reposing atop a slice of rye. The mouse, "bred for plumpness and politeness" (according to the headwaiter), congratulates the cat on his promotion, convinces him to purchase a glass of Beaujolais and generally becomes a too- amiable edible. Readers should soon catch onto the mouse's feigned innocence. When the cat's growing discomfort gets the best of him, the mouse persuades him to use a blindfold and substitutes the feline's tail on the plate. Even though all ends well (for the mouse, at least), some children may be uncomfortable with a few of the images: the glinting knife and fork pressed to the mouse's belly and the bloody (though not fatal) result of the cat's error. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Mr. Maxwell, a dignified, nattily dressed cat, is welcomed to lunch at is usual table at the Paw and Claw Restaurant. Instead of his usual baked mouse, he orders a, "fresh and healthy" raw mouse that he chooses to kill himself. If the reader can accept this rather shocking request for the satire it is, the rest of the tale is quite intriguing. The interplay between the mouse, reclining on his slice of rye toast, and his newly promoted and celebrating executioner is clever and amusing, although the larger-than-life fork and knife poised over the mouse gives one pause. As the mouse suggests a glass of wine with him for lunch, then says his own prayer before dying, Mr. Maxwell begins to have doubts. But when he blindfolds himself to finish the killing, the mouse manages to create chaos enough in the Paw and Claw for a life-saving, civil ending. A rainy European cityscape on the end papers sets the stage; the visual narrative begins on the title page spread as Mr. Maxwell approaches the restaurant under his umbrella. The interior, with its brown and black geometric decor, is very much the posh "gentlemen's club." It has anthropomorphic cats, even a string trio, creating an atmosphere that makes the cat-and-mouse drama even more anxiety provoking. The mouse is an engaging fellow, while the cat is a convincing kind-hearted dupe. Images created with Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter are naturalistically three-dimensional and strikingly theatrical. Not for the squeamish. 2004, Kids Can Press, Ages 6 to 10.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A clever game of cat and mouse is presented with delicious humor by this father/son team. Mr. Howard Maxwell, a dapper, pompous feline, lunches daily on baked mouse at the stuffy Paw and Claw restaurant, but today is different. Promoted to Vice Manager of Efficiency Control at Taylor, Bentwell and Nipson, he celebrates by ordering raw mouse instead. The entree arrives "stretched out on a single slice of rye toast as if sunning itself on a sandy beach" and proceeds to engage its prospective nemesis in conversation, a wily plan to escape its fate. Mr. Maxwell falls into the trap, is tricked into cutting into his own tail, and the mouse gets away, freeing the other mice awaiting consumption and creating mayhem in the restaurant as well. Recuperating in the hospital, Mr. Maxwell receives a note that reads, in part: "I'm sure you would have taken similar measures had you found yourself in my position.- I bear you no ill will and can only imagine that you feel the same." Readers will relish the formal language as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to a very funny, if macabre, story. In keeping with the black humor, dark but lush illustrations, rendered in Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, depict an Edwardian setting with the staid, elegant restaurant interior just begging to be thrown into chaos. White text against glossy black panels perfectly suits the mood, and atop his mustard brown toast the little white mouse glows with cleverness. A truly scrumptious treat.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This father/son team has concocted a delicious cat-and-mouse tale in which small outsmarts large. Every day, Mr. Howard Maxwell, a proper and pompous cat, orders baked mouse at the Paw and Claw Restaurant until the day of his promotion to Vice Manager of Efficiency Control, when he chooses a raw mouse for his entree. When the dish arrives, the white mouse, reclining on rye toast, engages Mr. Maxwell in conversation (despite his mother's admonitions not to fraternize with his food), employing one ruse after another to delay his demise: sprinkling salt, ordering a glass of wine, and requesting a prayer. The mouse deviously creates a catastrophe that enables him to escape and free all the other mice. The computer-generated art is stylishly elegant, dramatically colored in dark hues of slate and black, and handsomely designed with the text printed in white on black sidebars. Effective telescopic perspectives zoom closer as the mouse gets nearer to being eaten. Visually stunning, the period setting (1930s England?), captivating illustrations, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue create a delectable tail, er, tale of one-upmouseship to be savored. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553374862
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 788,722
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Asch is the author and illustrator of more than 70 books for children. His picture books with Kids Can Press include Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs and Mr. Maxwell's Mouse (illustrated by his son, Devin Asch). Frank lives in Middletown Springs, Vermont.

Devin Asch is an illustrator and photojournalist. He divides his time between LA and Hawaii.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 19, 2012

    My favorite read aloud with my son - he just laughed and laughed

    My favorite read aloud with my son - he just laughed and laughed.
    The memories will live forever....though the contect should be previewed by the parent - as some is a little shocking for kids story...

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