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Mouse Bird Snake Wolf

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  517 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
The imagination of three children takes on unexpected life in a creation tale from the dream team of David Almond and Dave McKean.

The gods have created a world that is safe and calm and rather wonderful. They have built mountains, forests, and seas and filled the world with animals, people, and unnamed beasts. Now their days are fat with long naps in the clouds, mutual adm
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published 2013)
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(showing 1-30)
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Wart Hill
Wyatt Packard
While the gods nap and rest, their children create. When the gods made their world, they left empty spaces, places bare of creation. Three children begin to play a game, filling this space with animals of their own. Then they create something they shouldn't, but can you unmake something the same way in which a creature is created? I appreciated this tale, but was not overly fond of either the writing or the illustrations. I am beginning to realize the Dave McKean is not an artist whose style I p ...more
Laura Collins
This was a super quick read - a graphic novel I picked up from the library because I recognised the illustrator from Grant Morrison's Batman: Arkham Asylum. The art in this was gorgeous and it was a fun sweet story about imagination and creation. But it was so short and quick I'm not sure it will stay with me and did't hold much substance, but it was sweet and I would recommend it!
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
What a lovely little book. I read this one at my local library in a very short period of time. I'll go back again to reread it and to gaze again on the gorgeous illustrations...

I really do love the combined genius of David Almond and Dave McKean!
May 26, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Shows the power of creativity in each child and individual - both darling and terrifying. Almond is not afraid of primal darkness, especially admirable as he is a children's writer.
Dec 13, 2014 Christie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A tale told through the words and pictures of the amazing team of David Almond and David McKean, exponentially more powerful when text and illustrations explode on the page, can't be quickly set aside: the images are heady, the cautionary tale haunting. Heady, as in they remain in your head; haunting as you may dream about this story. This brief story made me want to return to the classroom, share the story with pre-teens, and just sit back and listen to their spin on the tale.

Three children on
Aug 04, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
In a world very much like our own, the gods have created "a marvelous place filled with marvelous things." Except once they started, they didn't quite finish and left the world with gaps. When Harry, Sue, and Little Ben begin exploring one afternoon, Little Ben realizes that he can visualize what should be in the gaps. With a bit of this and that, he creates something mousy that scampers -- a mouse. Then Sue creates a bird and Harry creates a snake. Finally, Harry and Sue create a wolf and are p ...more
While the gods rest on their laurels, having created many wonderful things on the Earth, three children dream of other delights that haven't yet been created. Summoning the power of the gods within them, Little Ben brings to life a mouse, Sue creates a bird, and Harry fashions a snake. For the most part, the gods ignore their efforts since they are too busy eating and sleeping. But when Sue and Harry manage to bring forth a wolf, the consequences are deadly, and it's up to Little Ben to set thin ...more
This could be adapted wonderfully into a telling, for those who love the art of storytelling!

The Gods have grown self-congratulatory and lazy and have left their marvelous world with empty spaces small and large. Little Ben, Sue and Harry are wandering through the world when Little Ben decides that what the world needs is something... mousy. Some squeaky, scampering thing. And he puts together a little model of a mouse and encourages it to squeak and scamper and it comes to life from the twigs a
Reading David Almond's novels Skellig and Kit's Wilderness were such amazing experiences, I had very high expectations for Mouse Bird Snake Wolf, especially adding Dave McKean's art to the mix. The book is a beautifully illustrated fable/fantasy, but might be a bit disturbing and scary for younger readers. Almond leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which is one of the hallmarks of his books, along with not shying away from sometimes being disturbing. Yet at the end, young readers may not sure ...more
David Almond's stories never have anticipated endings - or middles. They are fairy tales with that dangerous edge that traditional tales all have.

So, take warning

I liken this tale to Wolves by Emily Gravett

Overly sensitive children will be shocked - for 1 page - and relieved on the next.

Be brave

The apathy of the gods is scarier than the wolf .......
Jun 05, 2013 Anna rated it it was ok
This was alright. Nothing was really resolved. (view spoiler). I wasn't a huge fan of the art work and I think some of the art was a little too scary for younger children, even though it is a short graphic novel.
Jul 15, 2013 Carol rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Typical strange story by David Almond accompanied by typical quirky Dave McKean art. As a librarian, I don't see myself recommending this to anyone.
Jody Lewandowski
Jul 26, 2016 Jody Lewandowski rated it did not like it
The creation story itself was OK. The illustrations put me off - so much so that I don't like this book at all. I don't know who I would recommend it to or who would read it. Ugh.
Edward Sullivan
May 03, 2013 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Playing God can be dangerous. Ethereal and compelling.
Dec 07, 2013 Alice rated it it was ok
Very strange and not to my liking.
Kit Meads
Oct 16, 2016 Kit Meads rated it really liked it
This was a great quick read and a beautiful graphic novel. A story about the creation of different creatures by humans and the ignorance of "gods", this piece was incredibly thought-provoking.

The general idea that I got out of this storyline was brilliant: that it is humans who are capable of creating and destroying life - not religious figures. Life is art, and what we create is an active reflection of ourselves (art is the expression of the soul). This is why the innocent and meek Little Ben
Sep 30, 2016 Maia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, picture-book
This longish picture book contains a fairy tale-like story by David Almond perfectly matched with illustrations by Dave McKean (of Sandman fame). Three children, Harry, Sue and little Ben, explore a world full of strange gaps left by the lazy creator gods. Plagued by images of missing things, the kids set out to create things themselves. But some creations are dangerous.
LH Johnson
Jun 07, 2013 LH Johnson rated it it was amazing
So I have a little story about how I came to Mouse Bird Snake Wolf. I originally came to it via Netgalley and as I am a huge fan of David Almond, I requested it and got approved. So I downloaded a copy and then through a substantial amount of user ineptitude, managed to make it unreadable. I know, right? An Achievement And A Half. However, when you're as struck by the previous pairing of Almond and McKean as I was (seriously, go check out the wild magnificence that is The Savage,) and you're tha ...more
I loathed everything about this book. It has no idea what it wants to be and in trying to be all things, it ends up being nothing.

The writer attempted to affect both an old-fashioned voice ("...but in truth their world was still unfinished...and there was still much making to be done.") and one that I felt was desperate to evoke Lemony Snicket ("What on earth is a mouse?" "It's a kind of mousy thing I suppose."). And, again, in having too many voices, the book did not have one of its own. The th
Dec 09, 2015 Cammie rated it it was ok
The book is stamped “juvenile” by the library and David Almond is a well-known young adult author, but I’m not exactly sure what Mouse Bird Snake Wolf actually is. It is the story of three children in a world created and controlled by gods who are repeatedly described as being tired, lazy, and fat, who no longer create anything even though their world is unfinished. It’s also illustrated by Dave McKean, who has adopted a very modern style powerfully reminiscent of Salvador Dahli,
May 08, 2013 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, for-review
I have to say first off I feel slightly uneasy with Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond, but maybe I'm supposed to. We have the gods who created the earth sitting up in the clouds napping and complimenting each other, but not really bothering to pay much attention to their creation. The three children take turns filling in the gaps. For me, it's a story about imagination and creativity and the power that comes with those. So the kids create the animals in the title and their creations truly ar ...more
Jan 21, 2014 D.M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only my second David Almond book (the first being another of their collaborations, Slog's Dad), and again it's only because of Dave McKean that I was interested. From these two examples, Almond seems to write very peculiar little tales that appear to construct a new, urban (or suburban) mythology for the new age.
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf in the title refers to creatures that a group of three youngsters create on a lazy afternoon. They and their creations (and their gods) exist in a world ver
Jun 17, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
From the author and illustrator who brought us The Savage comes this new book. Three children, Harry, Sue and Little Ben, live in a world that is calm and lovely, but also incomplete. They look around and see gaps where objects or things could be, but are not. Up above, the gods are sleeping. They are quite proud of the world they have created and spend lots of time bragging about what they have already done. None of them are interested in creating anything new or filling any of the empty spaces ...more
Check this review out and others on my blog: Get Real.

A heady work that at first glance might seem like nothing more than a quirky flight of fancy, with illustrations to match the fairytale-like prose. However, this story for young readers touches upon the ineptitude of adults, the failings of higher powers and religion, egotism —among adults and children alike —and the joy of creating the world on your own terms.

Dissatisfied with the incomplete world around them, three children one day decide t
Vivek Tejuja
Feb 20, 2015 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
here are times you read a book and cannot stop but think about what the author tried to communicate and how. “Mouse Bird Snake Wolf” by David Almond is all about creation and what happens when the Gods get lazy and do not wish to create anymore. Sounds fun, isn’t it? When humans are left to create? But what if children start doing that? Then what are the consequences? These are the questions raised quite well by Almond, through a wonderful story and even more arresting illustrations by Dave McKe ...more
Oct 02, 2013 Anthony rated it it was amazing
If you had the power what type of creature would you create? Would it be something small and cute, something subtle and dangerous, or would it be something large and fierce?

In a world similar to your own live 3 children. Harry, Sue, and Ben enjoy their world; it is marvelous, comfortable, and safe. However, they notice that it has gaps that the gods have not filled because they have become too tired and lazy. So, they begin to fill those gaps with their own creations. What at first seems to be f
Lois R. Gross
Feb 07, 2014 Lois R. Gross rated it it was amazing
What a seriously cool book. Thisis something like a creation tale, but more like a graphic novel. Three children are given the power of the gods while the gods take a break from creating creatures on earth. The children take everyday things -- soil, wool, leaves, stones -- and create the four animals in the title. Of course, as things will happen, they are foolish in their power because, while the mouse and the bird and charming creatures, snake has the power to harm and wolf eats two of the chi ...more
Kahil St aimee
Feb 15, 2015 Kahil St aimee rated it it was amazing
The book is a clever mixture of graphic novel and traditional novel by the author of skellig. The artwork is done by the illustrator of Coralline.

In the story three children (Ben, Harry and Sue) live in an unfinished world. The world was created by several narcissistic lazy gods. As beautiful and peaceful as the world is in its unfinished form there are gaps in the world where some creatures could fit. Ben is the first to note that he can imagine the creatures that fit into those gaps and sets
Jun 28, 2013 Fats rated it really liked it
I know David Almond from the enchanting tale of Skellig, and I’ve been a fan of Dave McKean ever since I read Neil Gaiman’s The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, which McKean illustrated. Mouse Bird Snake Wolf is David Almond and Dave McKean’s most recent collaboration. I found a copy at Barnes & Noble, just lying on the shelf, waiting to be picked up.

Hands down to the lyrical storytelling of David Almond and the visually stunning illustrations of Dave McKean. Nevertheless, Mouse Bird S
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David Almond is a British children's writer who has penned several novels, each one to critical acclaim. He was born and raised in Felling and Newcastle in post-industrial North East England and educated at the University of East Anglia. When he was young, he found his love of writing when some short stories of his were published in a local magazine. He started out as an author of adult fiction be ...more
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