"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mouse Match by Ed Young

Mouse Match by Ed Young, 1997.

This is a Chinese version of a folktale also found in Japan (see The Greatest of All, retold by Eric Kimmel, described in my post The Mightiest One ) . In his Author's Note, Ed Young tells readers that  some variety of the story is told in Korea, India, Burma, Ethiopia, France, Germany and North America (by native peoples).  In Mouse Match, loving mama and papa mice try to find a suitable husband for their wonderful daughter. They hope for no less than "the greatest and most powerful one in the world." So, they begin with the sun, only to learn that there is someone more powerful, the cloud, who claims that there is another still greater than he. The mice are passed through a chain of the mighty and finally find a surprising yet perfect match for their daughter and also gain wisdom that helps them to answer questions for the rest of their days.

The book's pages are printed on heavy card stock and folded accordion style so they can be pulled out to view the entire tale like a mural. One side is in English accompanied by Young's collage illustrations and the flip side has the story in Chinese:

From http://learningmandarinwithmydaughter.blogspot.com/

This book nicely showcases Ed Young's pastel and watercolor collages. The stark black silhouettes of the mice stand out against these backgrounds and the creatures' body language makes them endearingly expressive.  As in Young's best work, there is plenty of texture and subtle color variations that make readers want to touch the pages.

No comments: