Slim and Jim

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Overview

When a homeless rat named Slim is forced into a life of crime, he encounters a kind young mouse named Jim, who's willing to take him in and give him a chance. But when Slim's checkered past catches up to him, their friendship is put to the test. Together they must do battle with the evil villain Buster, relying upon their faith in one another — and their yo-yos.

In this Oliver Twist for tots, Richard Egielski tells a tale of true friendship and...

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Overview

When a homeless rat named Slim is forced into a life of crime, he encounters a kind young mouse named Jim, who's willing to take him in and give him a chance. But when Slim's checkered past catches up to him, their friendship is put to the test. Together they must do battle with the evil villain Buster, relying upon their faith in one another — and their yo-yos.

In this Oliver Twist for tots, Richard Egielski tells a tale of true friendship and creates characters as memorable as Fagin, Bill Sikes, and the Artful Dodger.

Slim the rat and his new friend Jim the mouse find that their yo-yo tricks come in handy when they are threatened by a tough, old one-eyed cat.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a derelict city inhabited by animals, homeless young rat Slim befriends privileged mouse Jim in this uplifting tale of an unlikely pair. They meet when a pirate-like cat bullies Slim into burglarizing an apartment. Jim interrupts the robbery, and Slim saves Jim's life. Afterward, these rodents from opposite sides of the tracks discover a shared passion for yo-yo tricks, like a triple around-the-world super-loop combo... a crazy cradle, a barrel roll, and a flying saucer. Slim moves into Jim's family's home, despite interspecies mistrust and the tomcat's attempt to lure Slim back into the underworld. By this account of social difference, Slim's always a suspect and Jim's always a peach, although readers are assured otherwise (Now you and I know that Jim was right and Slim intended to go back home, rather than steal from Jim's family). Egielski (Three Magic Balls) fashions an eerily magnetic world, a cross between Dickens's down-and-out London, the melting-pot-era Lower East Side and a contemporary dystopia. A palette of antique honey-browns and warm charcoal-grays creates a nostalgic atmosphere, yet the pictured frogs, pigeons and other creatures drive small cars. Indecipherable shop signs, lettered in a swirling script, suggest an alien language, but a flashy yo-yo plays the Beatles' Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. With its oddball characters and anachronistic allusions to pop culture, Egielski's weird yet welcoming animal realm recalls those created by Art Spiegelman and Tim Egan. Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Can an orphaned rat who is down on his luck find a home in the big city? That is the question Egielski poses in this tale based on the Dickens classic, Oliver Twist. Slim is a poor homeless rat who has no possessions other than an old yo-yo. When a streetwise cat offers Slim food and shelter in return for help on a robbery job, Slim reluctantly agrees to take part. At the last minute, however, Slim's conscience gets the best of him and he can't go through with it. The cat completes the job in the midst of great confusion and vows to fix Slim for good. Jim, a mouse in the next building, has been awakened by the ruckus and confronts the evil cat. In a tussle, all three fall off a roof and Slim and Jim drop into a river below. Slim saves Jim from drowning, and Jim offers to take Slim home as thanks for the favor. Everything is wonderful for Slim in his new family until he has an unfortunate meeting with the cat in a dark alley. Slim is kidnapped. Jim eventually goes out looking for Slim and is able to find him because of a lucky twist. The two are able to overpower the cat by masterfully using yo-yo tricks. The cat ends up in the arms of the police, and Slim and Jim are happy to go back home safely. This is a fun story that is complemented with humorous watercolor illustrations by the author. 2002, Laura Geringer Books,
— Carol Lynch
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Slim the rat and Jim the mouse become friends when Slim saves Jim after the two are chased by Buster, a mean, one-eyed, thieving cat. With clever text and delightful dialogue, this story of yo-yo wielding rodents and a Faganesque feline is pure Egielski: funny, poignant, and told with a wink. When Jim brings Slim to live in his home, allowing him to escape the life of crime that Buster is trying to force him into, the two form a deep and abiding bond. Their escapades continue when Slim disappears (once again caught by the evil cat) and this time Jim saves him by using his impressive yo-yo skills. After a stint in jail, Buster moves to France and the mouse and rat travel around the world with their yo-yo show, remaining "the very best of friends." The full-page, framed illustrations are rendered in Egielski's unique style with lots of browns, tans, and reds and are a perfect accompaniment to the story. This charming tale about an irresistible duo will be a favorite.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Channeling Aesop through Charles Dickens, Egielski (Locust Pocus! A Book To Bug You, 2001, etc.) brings together two yo-yo-wielding urban rodents from different walks of life, and pits them against a gloriously piratical feline hoodlum. Slim, an orphaned rat living on the mean streets, meets Jim, a mouse from a well-off family, on a rooftop. Together, the two foil a jewel heist contrived by Buster, the one-eyed cat; fall into the river, where Slim saves Jim; and meet a frog that drives them to Jim's home. As they grow up together, they share yo-yo tricks-a rock the baby, a rock the baby and then throw it out of its cradle, and a rock the alien baby on the launchpad-and see their friendship survive a tough test, eventually growing up to become professional yo-yo stars. The Caldecott Medalist has outdone himself in the art, depicting expressions, body language, and details of the narrow-laned streetscapes with even more lapidary precision than usual. He clothes his all-animal cast in mix-and-match articles from the past two centuries of fashion and captures in subtle ways the loyalty that cements this unlikely interspecies friendship. A heavily battered typeface adds to the generally raffish air of this droll, action-packed (and very silly) modern fable. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060283520
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 290L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.34 (w) x 10.72 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Egielski is the Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator of Hey, Al and many other books for children, including the Tub People series by Pam Conrad. He is also the author and illustrator of Buz and Jazper, both New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Three Magic Balls, and The Gingerbread Boy. Mr. Egielski lives in Milford, New Jersey, with his wife and son.

Richard Egielski is the Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator of Hey, Al and many other books for children, including the Tub People series by Pam Conrad. He is also the author and illustrator of Buz and Jazper, both New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Three Magic Balls, and The Gingerbread Boy. Mr. Egielski lives in Milford, New Jersey, with his wife and son.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    A TWIST ON OLIVER

    Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Richard Egielski retells Charles Dickens ' "Oliver Twist" in this picture book for ages three and up. In his animal-cast version, a homeless rat, Slim, falls into a life of crime until he is befriended by a kindly mouse, Jim, and his family. When the mice trust the stranger with money to buy birthday candles, they are disappointed when he appears to run away with it. Alas, he fails to return because Slim is kidnapped by the evil criminal cat who dragged Slim into trouble in the first place. But Jim has faith in his friend and searches for him. Jim saves that day when he discovers Slim's predicament, and the two buddies team up to make sure his captor ends up behind bars.

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