Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010
: Over the past decade, Mo Willems and Jon J. Muth have each created some of the most memorable animal stories for young readers. Working collaboratively for the first time, these award-winning authors have produced a picture book tale that is as fresh and timeless as the genre itself. City Dog, Country Mouse
brings the joy of unexpected friendship and the beauty of the seasons into focus. The two seemingly incompatible animals--a free-range frog and a curious urban dog--teach young readers of the endless possibilities that unfold when we share the best of ourselves with each other. --Lauren Nemroff
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—Spare, poignant, and ultimately upbeat, this tale depicts the natural cycle of friendship from an enthusiastic first encounter to contented companionship to the heartbreak of loss and eventual emotional renewal. Presented with a comfortingly consistent narrative structure, the events are set against the backdrop of the changing seasons, reassuring readers that winter will turn again to spring, sadness to joy. In "spring," City Dog runs free in the countryside for the first time ever and discovers an unfamiliar creature perched on a rock. Asked, "What are you doing?" Country Frog smiles and replies, "Waiting for a friend…but you'll
do." The two play Country Frog games ("jumping and splashing and croaking") and when reunited in "summer," they enjoy City Dog pastimes ("sniffing and fetching and barking"). In "fall," Country Frog is tired, so the friends spend their time remembering. When City Dog arrives again in "winter," Country Frog is nowhere to be found (a wordless spread shows the pooch sitting on the rock, looking small and forlorn against a stark winterscape). In "spring again," a sad-looking City Dog befriends another critter with a familiar line, and then beams "a froggy smile" (shown in close-up, this warmly illustrated grin guarantees that Country Frog will not be forgotten). Making expert use of color and texture, Muth's expressive paintings clearly convey the tale's emotional nuances. This understated picture book allows plenty of room for young readers to interpret the animals' feelings for themselves and perhaps discuss their own emotions.—Joy Fleishhacker
, School Library Journal
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