CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 1 . . . . September 3, 2004
In this variant of Aesop's fable about the city mouse and the country mouse, the pair of rodents have yet to meet at the book's outset. In each pair of facing pages, the grey city mouse and the brown field mouse are seen to be involved in parallel activities in their respective locales. Consequently, the city rodent sleeps in a clock while its outside counterpart snoozes in a stump. After rising, the duo continue to engage in equivalent activities in their distinctive environments. They both run under, up, in front of, into, out of, behind, between, below, over, through, along and around things appropriate to their setting until they find themselves, face to face, looking outside/inside the house.
The concepts imbedded in prepositions are often difficult for toddlers, and Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse will provide further assistance as children attempt to master them. The detailed illustrations will provide numerous opportunities for children to revisit the book and "read" it on their own. As well, the open ending in which the two mice greet each other with a simple "Hello!" leads to the obvious question, "And what do you think they did next?"
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.