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The Purple Ribbon
     

The Purple Ribbon

by Sharelle Byars Moranville, Anna Alter (Illustrator)
 

The charming adventures of a mouse family—who take up residence in a most unlikely place!

Wrapping one end of the purple ribbon around herself and her babies, Spring daydreamed. Someday she’d take her little ones home to live in the shade of the thorn tree. But, for now, they would be a family of car mice.

Spring is a field mouse. She

Overview

The charming adventures of a mouse family—who take up residence in a most unlikely place!

Wrapping one end of the purple ribbon around herself and her babies, Spring daydreamed. Someday she’d take her little ones home to live in the shade of the thorn tree. But, for now, they would be a family of car mice.

Spring is a field mouse. She lives with her babies—Parsley Snowflake, Oak, Pebble, and little Jellybean—under the front seat of an old abandoned car. This is the story of their marvelous (and sometimes not so marvelous) adventures. It is also the story of a very special purple ribbon that keeps Spring and her mighty family safe and happy—and always together.

Sharelle Byars Moranville has written a warmhearted tale that is ideal for reading aloud—for the whole family to enjoy together.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Moranville's (Over the River) quiet chapter-book saga of a mouse family is given a quaint, old-fashioned flavor with Alter's (The Three Little Kittens) tidy cross-hatched watercolors. Full-page illustrations of anthropomorphized mice in long skirts or pullovers with Peter Pan collars alternate with sepia drawings; the characters look demure even when doing back flips. The story's theme is tied together with the eponymous purple ribbon, an heirloom that goes "who knows how many generations back." In the opening chapter, a very young Spring wants to take the purple ribbon from GranDora; by the second chapter, which has abruptly skipped to the grown Spring's pregnancy, Spring is anxious to return the purple ribbon to GranDora's safekeeping. An end-of-winter storm finds Spring giving birth in the back seat of a car, where she improvises a home. Before she can bring her four children to GranDora's house under the thorn tree, however, there are cats to evade and tense adventures, including the children's inadvertent trip to a new location. Spring's only daughter, Parsley Snowflake, emerges as the main protagonist; she has her mother's courage, and it is of the steadfast rather than the swashbuckling variety. A solidly cozy caper. Ages 6-9. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Spring, a field mouse, has adventures while growing up with GranDora, who gives her the purple ribbon that has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Then one day, far from home when a storm comes up, Spring takes shelter in an old car, makes a nest, and has four babies including a runt she names Jellybean. The wee family survives a cat attack and several trips in the car when its owner takes it out. Finally Spring and her family are reunited with GranDora and, though the purple ribbon is a bit worse for wear, it is still a treasured heirloom. Alter has provided proper little dresses for the female mice and tiny shirts for the children. Cozy illustrations done in a soft palette alternate with sepia-toned sketches to support the text. Twelve tidy chapters reward young readers with a bit of substance and yet a minimum of trauma. For a bolder, stronger reader, Avi's Poppy (Orchard, 1995) packs more thrills.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A young field mouse grows and changes in a less-than-satisfying story about family. Spring asks her GranDora if she can have a family heirloom, a purple ribbon. She gets an explanation that heirlooms connect them to family members who have left and a list of names of those who have moved on or were eaten by a variety of animals. A comment like this would seem to be a foreshadowing of the dangers ahead. Now older, Spring, who will soon have mice of her own, is now wearing the purple ribbon as she collects seeds. A storm carries her away from GranDora�s house and she must deliver her babies in an abandoned car. Each chapter from this point shares a short story of how Spring and her four young mice live in the car, yet each chapter has little connection to the next. The mice do have a short run-in with a cat and a short separation from each other that causes their mother to go for GranDora. At the end, the mice basically walk their way back to GranDora�s home. Moranville�s title and theme and Alter�s soft pencil pastels raise hopes for a heartwarming family tale. Without a satisfying climax, the last chapter falls entirely flat. Little to pull readers along. (Fiction. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805066593
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
04/02/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 9.44(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Sharelle Byars Moranville is a professor of literature and the author of the middle-grade novel Over the River, which Booklist said was “beautifully written” in a starred review. She lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband.

Anna Alter has created such books as Estelle and Lucy and The Three Little Kittens. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Ms. Alter teaches art education to preschool children. She lives in Boston.

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