Once a Mouse ...: A Fable Cut in Wood

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Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
27 Reviews
"No one shall tell me that I was once a mouse!" roars the tiger. But an old hermit, mighty at magic, does tell him; for it was he who first changed the tiger from a wretched little mouse to a stout cat, to a big dog, and finally, to his proud and royal self. Youngest readers will take special delight in seeing these changes take place in Marcia Brown's dramatic picturing of the tiger's fall from grace. Older boys and girls will read more meaning into the text.

A rajah of ancient India is said to have had such popular animal fables collected as a "mirror for princes" to instruct his errant sons. Marcia Brown retells this fable from the Hitopadesa in vigorous style and illustrates it in woodcuts of exceptional quality. With a fluidity rare in the medium, they achieve the difficult feat of retaining their strong appeal for children while captivating art lovers of all ages.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

This is a retelling of a traditional Indian fable. A hermit with magical powers tries to help a tiny mouse. But as the mouse is transformed into ever larger animals, he loses his timidity and his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

A terrific little fable. Supposedly it's about big and little, but it's clearly also about hubris & humility/ gratitude. The vocabulary is rich, so, despite the fact that it's short, and the main idea ... Read full review

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About the author (1961)

Marcia Brown has twice won the Caldecott Medal (for Cinderella and Once a Mouse...) and six of her books have been Caldecott Honor books. Many have been selected by the American Library Association as notable books of the year and by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the New York Society of Illustrators for excellence in design and illustration. Personal interests in music, ballet, painting, and travel have enhanced the natural gifts of feeling and interpretation she has brought to each of her books.

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