Rediscover the tale of the simple country mouse who meets a cousin from the big city, magically retold by Helen Ward. Beguiled by his cousin's amazing stories, the country mouse visits the electric city. Unfortunately the town mouse forgot to mention the noise, the tall buildings - and the dangerous dogs! Helen Ward's 1930's New York is at once gorgeous and frighteningly busy - so that in the end, the reader understands both why the town mouse loves his exciting life and why the country mouse is contented with his peaceful home.
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Helen Ward trained as an illustrator at Brighton School of Art, under the direction of well-known children's illustrators such as Raymond Briggs, Justin Todd, Chris McEwan and John Vernon Lord. In 1985, her final year at Brighton, Helen was awarded the first Walker Prize for Children's Illustration.Awards for Helen's work include The National Art Library Awards 1998 and 2001 for The Hare and the Tortoise and her version of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows in the Templar Classic series, and The National Art Library Award for The Tin Forest. She was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award in 2003 for The Cockerel and the Fox. This book also won the award in the children's trade category at the British Book Design and Production Awards presented in November 2003.Helen Ward lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire.Review:
A splendid retelling of Aesop's familiar fable. . . .Sumptuous watercolor illustrations enhance the rural/urban juxtaposition with luminous close-ups of country mouse immersed in the seasonal flora and fauna of the English countryside and overwhelmed by the "noise and bustle and hum" of a 1930s-era city at Christmas. The richly detailed illustrations invite and reward close inspection. A visual stunner.--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Brief, beautifully descriptive text placed amid charming watercolor illustrations. . . Ward's lush pastoral illustrations bring out the deep contrasts between rural and city life. As the city cousin describes the "noise and bustle and hum" of his home, the accompanying painting shows a huge, shining harvest moon resting on a field of wheat sheaves and branches of plump blueberries and golden apples. City scenes are busy with tall, sprawling buildings and their leaded windows; armloads of Christmas gifts and ornaments; overladen sweet tables. This retelling, closely based on the original short fable, is a worthy addition to any collection.--School Library Journal (starred review)
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