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The Great American Mousical (Julie Andrews Collection) Hardcover – April 25, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5–Deep beneath the grand but dilapidated Sovereign on New York Citys Broadway, in a perfect miniature of the theater, a group of mice are furiously rehearsing for their own musical, due to open the next night, New Years Eve. However, the tempestuous leading lady, Adelaide, gets caught in a mousetrap, is abandoned outside the city, but with the help of a kindly stranger makes her way back in time for the performance. Alls well that ends well, but readers may not stick it out to the happy finale. So many stock characters are introduced so quickly–only a few of whom are fleshed out even to the smallest degree–that it is impossible to care about the fate of any of them. A long list of the characters at the front and a glossary of theatrical terms in the back add nothing to childrens appreciation of the magic of Broadway musicals.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. Edwards and her daughter have teamed up to create an affectionate spoof of New York theater life featuring a cast of mice who perform in a tiny theater, located in a forgotten area of an old, once-exquisite theater built for humans. New Year's Eve is approaching and along with it the wrecking ball, leaving the mice just enough time to produce one last musical revue, Broadway Airs. When the show's star, diva Adelaide, disappears into a mouse trap and is transported to Brooklyn, the cast does its best to work around her. In the meantime, Adelaide undertakes an arduous journey back to Times Square--arriving at the theater just in time for her dramatic final number. The mice are clever and appealing without being saccharine, the local color is well done, and the show-biz jokes are sure to keep young theater buffs rolling in the aisles. With chapter titles plucked from program notes and a complete list of theater terms appended, this hilarious tale will appeal to would-be thespians everywhere. Black-and-white illustrations, not seen in galley, will be scattered through the text. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Julie Andrews Collection
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Julie Andrews Collection; First Edition edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060579188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060579180
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Cutey on April 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this to my cousin the other night as a bedtime story and I may have enjoyed it more than she did.

It's written by Julie Andrews (the one and only) and her daughter. It's not their first book (they have done about 15 books together), but the first that I've read and I loved it. It's about mice at the theatre who are rehearsing for their own musical.

It's part of a collection of stories and both Julie and Emma want to create quality books that nurture kids sense of imagination, and to hopefully have these turn into classics one day.

All the characters in here are named for real characters of musicals (so there is Adelaide from Guys and Dolls etc). The pictures are great and cute. There is even a glossary in here so hopefully kids can learn a little about the theatre and musicals and want to go see some shows.

This is such a cute book for little kids, and based on the work that has gone into this I definately want to check out their other stories because I'm sure that if they are even half as good as this, then they are brilliant.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Julie Andrews Edwards says her idea for the story occured while she was working on a PBS program, Broadway: The American Musical. They were filming in one of the famous Broadway theaters when a mouse came out to observe. The theater people admitted the lower levels of the theater were quite overrun with the critters.

A troupe of mice are putting on a New Year's Eve extravaganza in the basement of of Sovereign Theater. Their little theater is the architect's model of the the original theater. The actors include an older, Shakespeare quoting, character actor named Harold; the ingenue, Wendy; the handsome leading man, Curly and every other stock character from any musical you can think of. The characters' names themselves, all come from American musicals.

The new owners of the Sovereign, plan to tear the theater down and replace it with a television studio. This news shocks the acting company. Disaster strikes again when the diva, Adelaide, is caught in a humane mouse trap up in the costume shop. The group must put aside their distress and and rework the show because "the show must go on."

Adelaide is released near the docks and befriended by a professor of mouse lore named Henry who promises to help her get back to the theater in time for the performance.

The traditions of the musical theater are included: the ingenue who must step-up to take a star turn, the young theater-struck Pippin who just wants a chance to show what he can do, and Adelaide, the grande dame whose star-power cannot be matched. The musical numbers, although not named, obviously come shows like My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof.

The pen and ink illustrations by Walton support the storyline. The scenes of NYC are nicely done with an excellent degree of detail.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt on May 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It figures that mice would hold theater productions in the basement of a Broadway theater! Okay, maybe this only happens in fiction, but how wonderful if it were true. In this story such a troop exists, complete with the players you'd expect: the character actor, the diva, the handsome lead, and the plethora of behind-the-scenes mice needed to run the show. Offstage drama--the sudden disappearance of Adelaide, the diva--puts the show in peril. Adelaide, thanks to her robust appetite, has been captured in a humane mouse trap. The young son of the theater's new owner hands the trap to a truck driver, who dumps it onto a snow bank in Brooklyn. Despite their grief at her loss, the cast agrees "the show must go on." Hours outside the city, Adelaide is freezing--and facing her first obstacle in her journey back to the theater. She is saved from Scud, a thuggish rat, by Henry, a mousy professor who specializes in mouse lore. Henry (with other mice and unknowing humans) helps Adelaide to regain the stage in time for her big number. The cast and audience go wild, as they assumed they'd never see her again. A second story line involves Pippin, the junior assistant mouse, who helps to save the decayed theater from a wrecking ball. This tale bops along, never sagging. It is bolstered by Walton's delightful black-and-white illustrations, and a back glossary of theatrical terms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julia S. Mariposa on October 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This purchase is one that I will never forget. As a theater junkie myself, taking a look into the world of Broadway was exhilarating with a fun twist... as the reader looks through the eyes of a mouse! The language was beautiful, though not too hard, so anyone, I would say, ten and up could enjoy this book. I really loved this book, and would recommend it to anyone with a lust for theater, as well as anyone looking for a good read. A ten!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen Joan VINE VOICE on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
THE GREAT AMERICAN MOUSICAL, by none other than THE Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, is a truly sweet, absolutely adorable, totally enchanting YA tail, er, tale about a troupe of Broadway mice who live in the sub-sub-sub-basement of The Sovereign Theatre. Here, in a miniature replica of The Sovereign, the mice put on their own shows, including the hits "Hello, Mousey," "Mice and Dolls," "Felines" (the forbidden play in the mouse world); and, of course, their current production, the New Year's Eve extravaganza, "Broadway Airs."

This engaging story has a charming and familiar cast of characters: Emil, the director; Harold, the aging character actor; Adelaide, the diva; young Pippin, the intern; Wendy, the ingénue, Curly, the young comedian; Rose the comedic supporting actress; Sky, the suave leading man; Don Q, the producer; Little June, the child star; Henry, the country professor, and a host of others, all with names and temperaments taken straight from well-known musicals. As the scene opens, The Sovereign Theater is about to be demolished, and our diva, the star of the show, has disappeared! What will happen next? Will they make it to opening night? Well, as you know, "the show must go on."

THE GREAT AMERICAN MOUSICAL is beautifully written in a clean, clear, simple, almost lyrical voice which makes it a pleasure to read; I can almost hear Julie Andrews reading it to me. That does not mean it talks down to children, however. All the terms of stagecraft are used correctly and consistently throughout the book, with a glossary of terms located in the back for young readers (and others) not familiar with the language of the theatre.
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