Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Mouse and His Child, by Russell Hoban, 1967

On Christmas Eve a tramp observes wind-ups in a toy store window: a seal, an elephant, and a mouse dancing with his child. The tramp sets in motion a dangerous adventure for the mice, which can only move when wound by others, yet manage to evade a vengeful rat, chop down a tree as pawns of a muskrat, and conquer the rats with the help of a prophetic frog. An unusual toy story in its lack of children, its allusions to 1960’s intellectual movements, and its darkly violent humor. More suited to adults than children.

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