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Mouse Bird Snake Wolf

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  412 ratings  ·  131 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
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Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 644)
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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
Kristi
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
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Christie
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
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Andy
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
Laura
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
Barbara
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
Kahil St aimee
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
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Lois R. Gross
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
Jaimie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D.M.
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
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Vivek Tejuja
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
Anna
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.
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!
Jane
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.
Mary Anne
Oh My! A wonderful book about a world, created by the Gods, but not quite finished. Some children look around at the empty spaces and start to imagine and then create creatures to fill those empty spaces. It starts out innocently enough, with the creation of a sweet little mouse.
While the gods are sleeping and otherwise not paying attention the children go on to create more creatures until finally they create a wolf. The wolf isn't innocent at all. It seems to represent fear and maybe greed and
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Kim Heimbuch
I don’t think the title is interesting and needs to be more catchy. The artwork on the cover though is really nice and I really liked this style of illustration. It is very different than anything I am used to seeing in kids books.

This story is about the power of imagination of all of the good that can be thought of when we open our minds, but it also shows that there will always also be bad things that happen when people think or don’t think about the consequences of their actions.

Read the ful
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Kermit
2.4 stars

I've read other David Almond books, and this one has his same kind of unusual tone. It's a creation tale. The gods made the world and congratulated themselves on their huge whales and graceful gazelles. Then they stopped midway and ate some cake and drank some tea and took a long nap. In the meantime, 3 children are anxious for other kinds of animals to be in the world, and they make a mouse, a bird, a snake, and a wolf. It's gets strange and slightly scary after that. It's just really
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Alice
Very strange and not to my liking.
Erica
I don't know how to rate this, or where to put it. It was shelved as children's literature but it's really not. It seems like fantasy but it's really not. I think maybe it's suited more as an art book for adults. I couldn't decide if I thought it was good. The illustrations were interesting, the creation myth thought provoking but something like this should fill you with wonder and instead it just left me a bit queasy. For a new style creation myth for children try "when big mama made the world" ...more
Tobinsfavorite
I'll be capricious and admit that the only reason I don't give this 5 stars is that I don't actually need it in my life. That is, if the experience of the book were lost to me but the memory of the experience remained, I don't think I'd rush out to get a copy to read, but I would read it again if it was at hand.

I very much like how the visual design of the book worked; it would not take you long to read, and it's a sweet little thing tinged with an appropriate bit of fear and innocence lost.
Kristin
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
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Tasha
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
LH Johnson
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
Anthony
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
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Carol
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
Fats
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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Jess
Sep 28, 2013 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jess by: JGL pick
Shelves: z_13, fantasy, myth-legend, ya
Eerie's a good word.

This one won me over as I read. I like it's odd, slightly spooky self. Someone tagged it as an allegory, but it's more along the lines of fable and myth. Granted, here be gods.

The story screams to be read aloud, but I'm not yet sure to who when it comes to groups. But I think you're upper elementary kid would like it if you read it to them. Also, high school classroom -- apply to writing projects, perhaps?

I like a book that gives you things to think on. This one does in spad
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Jesse
I loved Mouse Bird Snake Wolf. It's an alternate creation story for a world not too unlike ours. Although there are gods who are responsible for most of the world, powers of creation are not limited to them. Three children discover they have the ability to will things into being and use it to create a mouse, a bird, and a snake. The danger lies in two of the children's creation of a wolf which, as in all good fairy tales, comes back to bite them. The illustrations by Dave McKean lend an otherwor ...more
Adele Broadbent
This new myth is a tale of gods asleep in the clouds, leaving the world unfinished. There are gaps that need filling. So three children, Sue, Harry and younger Ben decide to do something about it. They start small with a mouse - made from petals and nuts. Then Sue's creation is a bird from sticks, leaves and grass. More creatures are created, but with terrifying results.
David Kean's illustrations are stunning.
Coral
This is such a strange, evocative, powerful little book about the marvels and dangers that human beings are capable of creating. Told in the form of a myth or fable, the language is simple and beautiful, and the illustrations are odd and marvelous. Some children might find it scary, or at least uncanny, but my six year old loves it, and my philosopher husband and I both do too.
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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
More about David Almond...
Skellig (Skellig, #1) My Name is Mina (Skellig, #0.5) Kit's Wilderness Click: One Novel, Ten Authors Heaven Eyes

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