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|By Mouse & Frog|
Author: Freedman, Deborah
Mouse has one idea about what a book should be and how to tell a story. Frog has another. What happens when these two very different friends try to create a book together?
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 179304
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/15/15)
School Library Journal (01/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (06/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 PreS-K—Freedman ventures into the realm of metafiction once again with this whimsical friendship tale. Pencil in paw, Mouse starts to create a quiet story about having tea, its gray line drawings becoming "real" à la Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon. To Mouse's great consternation, enthusiastic Frog jumps in to help with colorful ideas of its own. Soon, the orderly tea party is overrun by melting ice cream, a king, and even a dragon. Frog's suggestions reach a crescendo in an entire page of amalgamated quotes from children's classics "May I bring a friend? Can I drive the bus? I think I can—I think I can," causing the exasperated Mouse to shout "Stop!" and send all the drawing elements exploding all over the page. Two friends then work out a compromise, jointly creating a vibrant magical garden laid out across a spread. Freedman's delicate watercolor, gouache, pastel, and pencil illustrations delight with gentle humor, such as Frog and Mouse wondering, just "Who is Deborah Freedman?" They are, however, oddly out of sync with the story, as when the text says that Mouse is writing the story but the illustrations consistently show Mouse and Frog drawing. David Wiesner's Art and Max (Clarion, 2010) and Susanna Gretz's Riley and Rose in the Picture (Candlewick, 2005) explore the intersection of friendship, art, and breaking the fourth wall with more finesse, but with its timeless message about the importance of sharing and collaboration, this title will be welcome in most larger collections where such books are in demand.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 Precise little Mouse is creating a story, drawing the setting and events at the same time as narrating. That’s until bumptious Frog bounces into the proceedings and takes over the story. Finally a frustrated Mouse shouts and explains Frog into self-awareness, and a chastened Frog sadly sits the storytelling out; Mouse then kindly expands the storytelling to be a two-critter project and they create it together. The text, which neatly avoids committing to the gender of either of the friends, is almost entirely dialogue, and it’s a treat to read aloud. Frog’s ebullient exclamations are both silly and well timed, and audiences will snicker at some familiar references when the eager amphibian explodes into a page-long breathless monologue that hat-tips to Ferdinand, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Chicken Soup with Rice, The Stinky Cheese Man, and many others. The mixed-media art, largely line and watercolor with gouache for extra oomph and pastel for extra texture, maintains a tasteful restraint in the depictions of the animals, even slightly cartoonish Frog. The scenes Mouse is describing and drawing provide the real energy of the art, especially when Frog’s excitement mounts and brings colored elements to the previously black and white interpretations. This is an endearing take on the complementary-friends story; make sure kids have a chance to look through the copyright page, endpapers, and jacket flaps for additional doings by Mouse and Frog. DS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.