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Town Mouse, Country Mouse Paperback – January 13, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD530L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (January 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069811986X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698119864
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 0.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a lovely story about how the grass always looks greener on the other side. The story is nice. The illustrations though is simply fabulous. My kids and I take time looking at the illustrations and focusing on the details. Great illustration. Jan Brett never disappoints!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book-the illustrations are gorgeous - full of detail and color - you could spend a long time just looking at the details on each page. It would be a wonderful book to read to a child and ask them to tell the stories illustrated on the side panels. So happy I purchased this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book pulls you in to the different "cultures" of the country mouse and the city mouse and the little worlds they inhabit. Beautiful illustrations - the almost make you think these little places really do exist!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a classic for ages 3-10...reminding everyone that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Very nice drawings.
Purchased it for my 5 yr. old grandson, and his mother said, "oh, we are going to read this tonight, I have not read this in over 30 years" A story that once read, will never be forgotten.
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