________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 4 . . . . October 12, 2007


Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice.

Frank Asch. Illustrated by Devin Asch.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-55453-022-9.

Subject Headings:
Cats-Juvenile fiction.
Mice-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

**** /4

The mystery of Librarian Eleanor Marlowe is revealed within the first two pages of this delightful cat and mouse tale. As she finishes her catnip tea with a suspicious, nosy neighbor and returns to her neat home full of "fragrant, freshly cut flowers," she breathes a sigh of relief:

"I'm back", whispered Mrs. Marlowe. From behind the stove a tiny mouse with whiskers appeared. "Is it safe to come out?" "Quite safe", meowed Mrs. Marlowe and, with that, an entire family of mice poured out of every nook and cranny in her apartment.

internal art

     This is a mutually happy alliance between the widow Marlowe and a family of mice. Eleanor knits caps and sweaters for her guests and supplies them with interesting cheeses, and they, in turn, are busy polishing her silverware, transplanting her basil seedlings and cooking some soup. This joyful situation is disrupted when the Department of Catland Security suddenly shows up to search Mrs. Marlowe's home and to question and accuse her of harboring mice. But this crafty widow manages to outwit the officers with quick thinking answers designed to protect her friends. However, one alarming act in a tense situation leads both readers and the hidden mice to wonder what Mrs. Marlowe's real intentions are.

     Mrs. Marlowe's Mice is a cleverly conceived, amusing and suspenseful tale. Written and illustrated by the talented father/son duo of Frank and Devin Asch, it could be considered a sequel or companion to Mr. Maxwell's Mouse. The dialogue is witty, and the enchanting descriptions appeal to all the senses from the taste of the tuna tarts to the smell of flowers and swiss and Muenster Cheeses. The unique artwork, featuring wonderful details, awesome close-ups and unusual perspectives, will draw all readers in. Created in Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, the results are spectacular!!

     Mrs. Marlowe's Mice is a high quality and entertaining picture book.

Highly Recommended.

Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.