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Seven Blind Mice (Reading Railroad) Paperback – June 10, 2002


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Seven Blind Mice (Reading Railroad) + The Blind Men and the Elephant (Hello Reader!, Level 3, Grades 1&2)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Reading Railroad
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (June 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698118952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698118959
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.9 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a stunning celebration of color Caldecott medalist Young ( Lon Po Po ) offers a vibrant variation on the fable of the blind men trying to identify an elephant. Seven differently-hued blind mice approach the "strange Something" in their midst on successive days and report their findings to the group. A large black square provides the background for each painting, a dramatic contrast to the brilliant images "felt" by the sightless rodents. Young's textured, cut-paper illustrations allow readers to visualize just how a floppy ear might be mistaken for a fan ("I felt it move!"); the elephant's curving trunk springs to life as both a jewel-green snake and a glowing yellow spear. The spare text permits greater exploration and enjoyment of the artwork--it may be difficult to read the story straight through without stopping to compare the various images. The "Mouse Moral" that concludes the tale--"Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole"--may seem superfluous to those who prefer the imaginative "vision" of the mice. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- A real winner, on many levels. The first impression is visual delight. Brilliant colors and varied textures of paper collage are placed in striking contrast against velvety black pages. Bold white lettering imposed on the dark background tells of seven blind mice, seen in seven bright colors. Over the course of a week each investigates, in turn, the strange ``Something'' it encounters. To one it is a pillar, to another a snake, to another a cliff. Finally, on the seventh day, the white mouse, running across the thing and remembering what the others found, concludes that it is an elephant. The tale ends with the moral that wisdom comes from seeing ``the whole.'' Adapting the old fable of the blind men and the elephant by weaving in the days of the week, the mice, and the beautiful shapes of the things they see, Young gives children a clever story, wise words, and a truly exciting visual experience.
- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Caldecott Medalist Ed Young is the illustrator of over eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written.
He finds inspiration for his work in the philosophy of Chinese painting. 'A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words,' explains Young. 'They are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe.'
Born in Tientsin, China, Ed Young grew up in Shanghai and later moved to Hong Kong. As a young man, he came to the United States on a student visa to study architecture but turned instead to his love of art.
Young began his career as a commercial artist in advertising and found himself looking for something more expansive, expressive, and timeless. He discovered all this, and more, in children's books. The subject and style of each story provide Young with the initial inspiration for his art and with the motivation for design, sequence, and pace. Accuracy in research is essential to his work, too--whether he is illustrating fantasy, folk tale, or fact.
According to Young, a strong foundation of credibility must be established in order to create new and exciting images. Through such images, he hopes to capture his readers and ultimately expand their awareness. Young's quest for challenge and growth are central in his role as illustrator.
'Before I am involved with a project I must be moved, and as I try something exciting, I grow. It is my purpose to stimulate growth in the reader as an active participant as well,' Young explains. 'I feel the story has to be exciting, and a moving experience for a child.'
A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Young has since taught at the Pratt Institute, Yale University, Naropa Institute, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 1990, his book Lon Po Po was awarded the Caldecott Medal. He has also received two Caldecott Honors--for The Emperor and the Kite and Seven Blind Mice--and was twice nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the highest international recognition given to children's book authors and illustrators who have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.
Young lives in Westchester County, New York, with his two daughters.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a great book for young children they will enjoy it.
alaina_curry
This children's book is not only a wonderful tale but it also uses beautiful illustrations that only enhance the story.
Krista
This book would be great in teaching children to look at every angle of a situation before making a decision.
Jennifer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Krista on January 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This children's book is not only a wonderful tale but it also uses beautiful illustrations that only enhance the story. The book would be an excellent resource for teachers to use when teaching about morals, the importance of taking your time, or even collages (art). This is a wonderful book with a strong moral story line and exciting, eye catching pictures.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Six out of seven curious mice draw fast conclusions of the unknown. The seventh, the wise takes time to learn. A beautiful book full of color that excites the imagination and transfers wisdom.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on March 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was wonderful. The illustrations were so bright and distinct. There are seven blind mice tring to figure out the identity of an object by feeling it. The first six mice make their decisions very quickly, therefore making the wrong choice. The seventh mouse takes his precious time. He runs on top of the object. He runs back and forth. When he finally makes his decision it is the correct one. This book would be great in teaching children to look at every angle of a situation before making a decision.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) on June 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a children's book based on the famous Indian fable about blind mice who encounter an elephant, each describing it differently: the moral being that you must "see" the whole object to truly know it. The book was a 1993 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustration in a book for children and the beautiful collages enhance the story. This is the best presentation of this famous tale that I have seen.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Seven Blind Mice is a beautiful book to share with children. Young's magnificent collage illustrations set against a stark black backdrop are mysterious and compelling. His text is sparse, poetic, and wholly to the point. Every time I have shared this book with my kindergarten class, they have asked for it again and again. I heartily recommend it for children,parents, and teachers. Young's message to know the whole elephant before you proceed is a timely one for everyone.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ed Young is nothing so much as an artistic version of Eric Carle. Not that I have anything against Eric Carle (author of "The Hungry Caterpillar") but in "Seven Blind Mice", the artist has imbued his book with such amazing colors and textures that it's a wondrous delight to look through. The story is the classic folktale of the seven blind men and the elephant, rendered mousey. In this story, seven blind mice (not the usual tailless three) come across a large elephant. Each mouse feels a different part of the elephant and comes up with a different idea of what the large object blocking their path is. The moral of the story is summed up nicely at the end as, "Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole".
Each scene displays the colorful mice (each a different vibrant color) against a black background. These cut-outs are positioned perfectly in each scene to convey movement, mindset, and personality. Though they may be similar shapes, they are by no means identical. But I really can't convey the beauty Young has created here. The elaborate papers used for the elephant's skin or the evocative mind's eye scenes of what the elephant might be. Each time a colored mouse describes what the elephant is (whether pillar or spear or cliff) that object appears on the opposite page in brilliant beautiful papers the color of the mouse describing it.
Pretty doesn't describe it. Beautiful comes close. But spectacular is the most accurate statement that can be made about this book. Now go buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ed Young unveiled his artistic brilliance in 1989 with his Caldecott winner Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, a Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood that is so compelling as to be genuinely disturbing. This book, also earning a Caldecott recognition, is much gentler. It reinvents the traditional Indian tale of the blind men and the elephant with seven blind mice of different colors. This, of course, reminds you of Mother Goose's "Three Blind Mice," but these mice keep their tails -- in fact, the first we see of them are brightly colored tails waving at the edge of a field of black. The story is animated with dynamic visual scenes made from cut-paper collage, in which each mouse in turn experiences and then explains a different aspect of the elephant. The use of primary colors and the systematic, deliberate way in which each mouse sallies forth on a new day of the week makes this a wonderfully predictable tale with humor, surprise, and a satisfying ending.

The author concludes with an explicit moral that not every reader will easily connect with the story events: "Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole." I think he is probably speaking from a Buddhist perspective, and "seeing the whole" may refer to the concept of Nirvana. Sidenote: Most of the little I know about Eastern mysticism I learned from The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 5th Edition, which provides a quick, accessible survey of major religions from a Christian perspective.
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