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The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
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The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  259 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
A gorgeously illustrated and poetically written classic, set in a 1930s-era city at Christmastime

Rediscover the tale of the simple country mouse, magically retold by Helen Ward. Beguiled by his cousin’s amazing tales, the country mouse visits the electric city. Unfortunately the town mouse forgot to mention that the city has a lot of noise, tall buildings . . . and dangero
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Templar (first published October 1st 2011)
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Thomas Frey
Sep 30, 2015 Thomas Frey rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse is a short book about two mice who are friends and the town mouse comes to visit the country mouse. While the town mouse was visiting the country mouse he talked the country mouse into coming to the court house where he lived for a visit and to try to convince him to move there. When they got there the country mouse got so scared that he ended up not liking the place and wanted to go home more than anything. When reading the book I noticed that the text was a ...more
Instantly one of my favorite retellings of this fable because the mice aren't wearing cutesy clothes and the illustrations show the sumptuousness of each setting. I do wish it hadn't been set at Christmas; it really restricts the universal nature of the story.
Faith Hough
Aug 26, 2013 Faith Hough rated it it was amazing
I thought I would never love a rendition of this story as much as I love Jan Brett's, but... this is amazingly gorgeous and beautifully written. I just want every page framed on my wall.
Apr 02, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
Brilliant!!! I would say a Caldecott contender, but she is from England. The writing has such a lovely ambiance, the art work is stunning! Loved it!! Marvelous!! A WOW!!
Maren Prestegaard
Dec 04, 2015 Maren Prestegaard rated it really liked it
such a perfect story for this time in my life. here's hoping the country mouse can find peace in the city OR vice versa.
Jan 11, 2013 Deborah added it
Shelves: picturebooks
Beautifully rendered and designed.
Oct 16, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Never has there been such a beautiful example of this Aesop Fable. This is the classic tale of the county mouse who is happy in the simplicity of the country until his cousin from the city comes to visit with his claims of the wonders there. The country mouse goes to visit, discovering things like elevators, electric lights, and enormous banquets. But when they are both chased by a city pet, in this case a little dog, the country mouse realizes that while the city is fast-moving and filled with ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Lari rated it really liked it
I read this to my preschool class as a comparison to the version we are studying in our reading unit. My students enjoyed it well enough, and it has a lot to recommend it.

The illustrations were beautiful and I appreciated that the mice were drawn like real mice instead of the cutesy ones wearing clothes that's normally found, however, for my students, it made it harder for them to tell the town mouse from the country mouse. Even though they were different colors, there was nothing about them tha
Before today, my favorite illustrated version of 'The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse' was from Paul Galdone in the new early spring 2012 publication format. While I still love that one, this one is amazing and perfect for including Christmas time in a subtle years past sort of way. This is a large picture book and the illustrations are incredible and present the world from a mouse-eye-view. The first image I saw of the fox, I jolted a little bit - really putting you in the mind and frame of th ...more
This book was a hit with a variety of my clients ranging from cognitively lucid to moderate dementia. It was a hit with me, too. The simple prose retells one of the most well-known Aesop's Fables, that of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Ward's illustrations are vivid, beautiful, and full of interesting details. I just wish there was an artist's note about what medium she uses to create the art, her process, and what inspires her. I'll be on the lookout for more Helen Ward books!
The story about how the town mouse is showing a country mouse how extravagant his lifestyle is living in the town. The country mouse was a little jealous at first, but then realized he didn't like the lifestyle of the town mouse. This would be great to use when talking about appreciating what you have and that one person's trash is another person's treasure. You could also use it as a introduction to talking about town and country life and what the differences are between the two.
Christina Swain
There have been many who have retold this traditional fable tale, but I must say this is one of my favorites. As told, the country mouse goes to visit his cousin, the town mouse. However, the cousin mouse is not prepared for the city living with the loud noises, tall buildings, and the other fast-paced moving of the town. Through this story, students are invited to think beyond the book to the bigger picture, appreciating the similarities and differences that others bring.
Becky B
The classic Aesop fable retold with lavish illustrations and set in New York circa 1930.

This is probably my favorite version of this tale in picture book form. Helen Ward's illustrations are just fantastic. They are lifelike, hold subtle comic points (like when the Town Mouse is talking about the vicious wild animals in the country while walking past a sleeping fawn), and just beg for readers to come back and stare at them some more.
Jan 30, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it
Ward's rendition of the story provided atractive and vivid illustrations. The classic tale in this book was enjoyable. As others have mentioned though, it was hard to differentiate the city mouse from the country mouse which made it a little confusing to read & convey to the kids during preschool storytime. The kids had fun pointing out the many pictures and things in it though and enjoyed the book overall and brought about good discussions.
Jul 05, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
This is a very nice book. I love the story (totally how I feel...I am the country mice...the city is fine...but I want the country life...and all the city people moving into my small town is RUINING my country LIFE! GRR!

I like the pictures...don't love them! But still very good!
Oct 11, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Grades 2 and up

Sumptuous illustrations highlight this retelling. The text is fairly simple and straightforward, but readers will pore over Ward's vivid watercolors. When he repays the visit of his more urbane cousin, the country mouse finds himself in an early 20th-century city, where wagons co-exist with electric lights and magical up and down elevators. The Christmas decorations add to the lavishness of the country mouse's new environment, but he discovers he prefers the simplicity and quiet
This retelling of a well-known, timeless story is wonderfully done. This version of the story would make a lovely gift especially due to the beautiful artwork! Gorgeous book...even if I had to look at almost too realistic pictures of mice.
Terra McCown
Apr 25, 2016 Terra McCown rated it really liked it
Shelves: ls-3013-02
Town Mouse, Country Mouse, Differences

TEKS: 9) Economics. The student understands the condition of not being able to have all the goods and services one wants. The student is expected to:

(A) identify examples of people wanting more than they can have;

(B) explain why wanting more than they can have requires that people make choices; and

(C) identify examples of choices families make when buying goods and services.

(10) Economics. The student understands the value of work. The student is expected to
Aletheia Ubben
May 13, 2015 Aletheia Ubben rated it it was amazing
Really, really beautiful illustrations! I especially enjoyed the pages where the town mouse brags about the city, as Helen Ward simultaneously highlights the profound beauty of the countryside; the effect is captivating.
I dislike children's book that romanticize nature and country life while painting city life as horrible. It's true that I don't like cities much at all, but that is a personal preference. Cities are often more ecologically friendly than rural and suburban living, so none of that caring about nature nonsense. Luckily, this book doesn't contain that much of this -- specifically in the way you can talk about how the town mouse and the country mouse each has his own preferences. The town mouse felt ...more
Esther Choi
Oct 30, 2013 Esther Choi rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional
This is a retelling of the classic folk tale about the town mouse and the country mouse. The two mice are cousins and the one from the town boasts about the city and all the amazing lights. The country mouse goes to his cousins town and finds that it is way too noisy, busy, and scary. The country mouse decides that although the town is exciting, he prefers his quiet, peaceful country home. The illustrations in this retelling is fun. It would be a good book to read aloud and discussing about. The ...more
Michael Moya
Mar 07, 2013 Michael Moya rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this folk tale. First of all, I loved the cover of the book. It immediately jumped off the shelf when I saw it at the library. The story is about two mice who encounter each coming from different places, the country and a town. This story focused on where you from and how you view the attractiveness of other places. The images are rich and pleasing which I liked. The author's illustrations brought out the deep contrasts between rural and city life. I believe this retelli ...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 11, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Ward's fine art illustration style draws out the irony of the town mouse's boasts about city life even before the country mouse leaves home. As should be true for Aesop's familiar fables, we see the message coming a mile away but the illustrations provide a fresh look. The virtues of the bucolic are never countered with drawbacks of living in the sticks, however, and the lesson--as they usually do--feels hypocritical.

Lu, the discussion below says this book was ineligible for Caldecott. Is that
Jul 22, 2014 Jodie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, fable
Love the illustrations. A wonderful retelling of this story.
Feb 19, 2014 Beck rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I can relate to both mice. :)
Molly Asp
It's been a while since I read this book, but I do remember it having a great theme. The book is about a country mouse going to visit a town mouse and realizing that the town is not the life for the country mouse. Although the two mice are very different in where they live and what they like to do, that doesn't mean one is better than the other. They are just different. This is a great message for children and I would definitely include it in my children's literature collection. It is a very old ...more
This has been lauded for its pictures, delicate watercolors that bring to mind Jerry Pinckney. But at times the perspectives confused me. If they were meant to make me feel the displacement the country mouse feels, well then I suppose they succeeded, But it didn't make me feel comfortable within the story. So for me, despite the beauty of the art, its attention to detail (art deco teapot and elevator casing, berries and grass finely drawn), it didn't work as well as I wanted it to.
Jun 03, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Another new book to our collection, this retelling of the classic Aesop's fable has gorgeous pictures. Country Mouse becomes envious of the life Town Mouse describes - one of hustle and bustle and action. He decides to go visit Town Mouse to see what it's all about. While he's there, he experiences some of the fun of the city but also comes to appreciate aspects of his home that he truly misses. We have good discussion afterwards about taking risks and being happy with our choices.
Apr 11, 2013 Cassie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Retold and Illustrated by Helen Ward.

The Country Mouse loves his country home. That all changes when his cousin, Town Mouse comes to visit. There are no wild animals in the city and there are scrumptious dinners to be eaten. The Country Mouse goes for a visit and finds different dangers.

The pictures in this book are excellent. The author uses bright colors and uses great detail. Everything is drawn in a larger scale as a mouse would see the world around him.
The town mouse and the country mouse take a walk in each other's shoes in this beautifully illustrated version of Aesop's fable. Artwork gives readers a mouse-eye view of a city at Christmas and a field of fresh-fallen snow. Each page is absolutely breathtaking. The colors and the imagery give the reader a warm, fuzzy feeling. Great read aloud! Even if you have read every version that exists of this tale, read this version, you will not be disappointed :)
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Helen Ward won the first Walker Prize for Children’s Illustration and twice won the British National Art Library Award. She has also been short-listed for the 2003 Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in Gloucestershire, England.
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