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Town Mouse, Country Mouse Paperback – January 13, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (January 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069811986X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698119864
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The grass may be greener in the country, and the carpets softer in the city, but--as the two amiable mouse couples in Brett's rich interpretation of the timeless fable finally resolve--"There's no place like home." Brett's ( The Mitten ; Trouble with Trolls ) version of how they arrive at their wise conclusion serves up a sumptuous visual feast. The art on each double-page spread (alternately devoted to urban and rural settings) is brimming with droll details; exquisite patterns appear on clothing, china and rugs; and imaginative borders range from silk cord to pottery shards to dandelions. The text also conveys the culture gap between the city and the country mice with a good deal of humor. When she feels a raindrop on her head, the city-mouse wife asks, "Is the bathtub leaking?"; and her natty husband proudly dons a new jacket ("so colorful and eye-catching"), not realizing that it will indeed catch a creature's eye--that of a large owl whose greedy clutches he barely escapes. Bound to be a standout among the season's picture book offerings. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 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 new spin on the familiar fable. A mouse couple living in a town are enchanted by the simple life of the country, and, while on a picnic, meet a pair of local mice who long for the luxury and convenience of the city. Homes are swapped, but they find that reality is different from their expectations. Both couples end up fleeing from unfamiliar, predators-a cat in town and an owl in the country-all the way home. The owl and cat collide, and in an original twist, negotiate a territorial swap of their own. Traditionally, the town resident is portrayed as a pompous snob who turns his nose up at the country dweller's simple fare, while the country mouse is a folksy bumpkin. In Brett's version, the town mice are as charming and naive as their country cousins. Furthermore, the original fable depicts country life as utterly tranquil, but the city mice find that it is anything but serene. Brett's narrative alternates the parallel mishaps of the two sets of mice with lively, smooth writing and a deft touch of humor. As with any of her books, the illustrations are rich with meticulous detail. The natural fibers of the clothes of the country mice are as realistic in texture as the fine beaded and bedecked clothing of the town mice. The text is neatly integrated into each double-page spread. Lozenges at either side portray the activities of the two predators and are bordered with natural objects such as buttons, stamps, coins, and safety pins. Because of the wealth of small details, the book is better suited for one-on-one sharing than as a group read aloud.
Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jan Brett is the author of the New York Times bestselling Gingerbread Friends, The Three Snow Bears, and The Mitten, as well as many other classics. She lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

You and your children will love this book.
lady gogo
I can't get enough of this book, and I like the twist at the end.
M. Heiss
I enjoy her stories and her colorful and detailed illustrations.
Marla Sonksen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I've seen by Jan Brett. The story was so well written that my daughter, aged 4, and I would have thoroughly enjoyed the book even without the pictures. But those pictures! Each time we read the book, we find some new aspect of the illustrations to focus on and enjoy. We checked this book out of our library, and will have to return it soon. But my daughter will receive her own copy for her birthday this December. If you want to present your child with excellent story-telling, as well as beautiful artwork, this one's a must-buy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
As near as we can tell, Aesop's Fables date back to at least the 6th Century B.C. I personally feel that many of these tales are even older and Aesop had probably recorded quite a number of old folk tales from the past. Be-that-as-it-may, this is a rewrite of one of my favorite of Aesop's Fables. This story has been told and retold in countless languages, in countless countries and it would be almost impossible to find and read them all. I will say though, that with this offering, Jan Brett has done the tradition proud and pretty well proved that what was good in the 6th Century B.C. is good today!

In this story, we have the Town Mouse and his wife and the Country Mouse and his wife that, after a chance meeting, decide to trade places. You all know the story, and if you don't, I don't want any spoilers here, so I will not give a blow by blow rundown on the adventures of these four in their new environment.

What sets this particular version apart from so many others though, is the art work. I cannot remember a children's book that was so well illustrated and to be frank, so interesting. The author alternates, page by page from Town Mouse back to Country Mouse. At the side of each illustration we have a sort of preview of what is going to happen next. This is not a "copy" of an upcoming page, but rather a general view of what might be. Once the child (and parent or grandparent catches on, this can be quite fun). But back to the art. The only way I can describe it would be Victorian. It is vivid, detailed, colorful and just down right interesting. The way the author has humanized the various critters does not come across as phony at all, and actually looks quite natural is a stage sort of way.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book tells the "grass-is-always-greener" story of the city mouse and the country mouse. One day, the city mouse wakes up and decide he is unhappy with his lot in life. He and his wife pack a picnic lunch and go off for a holiday in the country. There they meet the country mouse, who is enthralled by the smell of city cheese, and the mice decide to do a house swap. However, they each find that they don't have the skills and knowledge necessary for survival in the other's environment. Attacked by cats and besodden in a thunderstorm, they rethink the arrangement and return home. Very young children may find some of the predators a bit scary, but older children should be able to handle the tension and enjoy the humor as well. The book has about 1100 words.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Children often hear "No peeking!" A clever book designer encourages them to peek in this story of two mice cousins who temporarily trade residences.
Cleverly placed peepholes encourage youngsters to peek and see what new adventure awaits each mouse before turning the page.
Not only is this a fun book, but there's also a moral to the story: There's no place like home!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
THE BOOK WAS VERY EXICTING AND YOU NEVER KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. THERE WERE EXCELLENT DRAWINGS. I HAVE SIX OF HER BOOKS SUCH AS TROUBLE WITH TROLLS,THE HAT, THE MITTEN,COMETS NINE LIVES, ,BERLIOZ THE BEAR AND COUNTRY MOUSE TOWN MOUSE. I COLLECT HER BOOKS FOR THERE DETILES AND WRITING.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Arnold on July 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This children's book has amazing illustration to it. The story is simple but full of adventure. A great afternoon story time book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Marcantonio on May 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I still have a copy of this in my home for my 20 year old daughter to re-read, and then for my granchildren to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My two favorite illustrators are Clare Beaton and Jan Brett.

Out of all the Jan Brett books, this is a favorite. The story of the town mouse and the country mouse is so perfect for her style, because it lets her illustrate two rich and fabulous environments. Her details are so good, and on every page there are clues to what will happen next. I can't get enough of this book, and I like the twist at the end.

Our family doesn't so much read books as we fall into them, and the good ones bring us back for more. I love this book, and I would vote that Jan Brett is a genius storyteller in pictures. This is a truly terrific book.
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