Jones's charmingly illustrated, engagingly straightforward work retells the beloved Aesop fable about two mice who discover that indeed ``there's no place like home.'' As in her earlier peep-hole books, two-inch openings in the center of alternate pages offer tantalizing glimpses of things to come and provide cheery ``backward glances'' at the malcontent mice. With the finely wielded lines of her elaborate pen-and-watercolor art (somewhat reminiscent of John O'Brien's work, though less stylized), Jones opts for a warmer and lighter take on the tale than the cool-toned opulence found in Jan Brett's 1994 rendition. The full-bleed pictures are jammed with amusing details, beginning with a cozily crowded Town Mousehole into which peers a hopeful kitty (while a sign by the lair's exit warns, ``Look left Look right Every night''). Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This traditional tale extolling the virtues of home is given a lush illustrative treatment here. The town mouse and his country cousin visit each other and get a glimpse of how "the other half lives". The readers get to share in their vision thanks to carefully placed little peepholes cut in some pages. A tempting sneak preview before turning the page!
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
PreS-Gr 2-This well-loved fable benefits from this low-key retelling. Jones enlarges upon the friendship between the two cousins and the myriad dangers that await each mouse when he sets foot on unfamiliar ground. She repeatedly reinforces the moral of the story and concludes with the familiar ``There's no place like home.'' Like several of Jones's earlier picture books, this one features die-cut holes on every other page that give readers a hint of the illustration to come. This clever design doesn't work quite as well as it did in Old MacDonald Had a Farm (1989) and This Old Man (1990, both Houghton), but it does allow for plenty of interaction when sharing the book with young children. The full-page pictures are fairly realistic in style and appear to be drawn in pen-and-ink with watercolor washes. The palette emphasizes muted earth tones for the Country Mouse section and a jazzier color scheme for the Town Mouse. While there are other memorable versions of this fable, most notably Janet Stevens's humorous The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (Holiday, 1987) and Jan Brett's richly detailed Town Mouse, Country Mouse (Putnam, 1994), this rendition deserves a place on library shelves.-Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
What's always fun about this fable is the juxtaposition of two different worlds, which readers can see but the mice cannot. Here, the pictures show a Martha Stewartlike urban and rural mousedom, with point of view precisely the point: every other page has a hole (might we say a mouse hole) through which readers can peek at the next scene. Food fantasies are the best part of the city mouse's country crisis; it's troubles with traffic, wonderfully pictured, that plague the country mouse. In each locale, the predator, whether owl or cat, appears as a prominent presence. An old favorite done with pictures that bear up to long and pleasant scrutiny.