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<< Back to El Ratoncito Pequeno / The Little Mouse

El Ratoncito Pequeno / The Little Mouse

School Library Journal


PreS-K- In this illustrated version of a Hispanic nursery rhyme, a mouse is conned by a clever cat into exiting his hole for some candy and instantly becomes the feline's lunch. Best read aloud to enjoy the catchy rhythm of the Spanish version, this story does not read aloud quite as well in English, despite a concerted effort to maintain the rhyme and meter patterns as well as the sense of the story. The pictures, rendered in pen and ink and watercolor, have a dense, scratchboard look to them, and seem distinctly old-fashioned in their use of dark colors and elongated cartoon forms. The cat looks as much like a dog or a wolf as a cat, and the mouse, who is shown in shorts for the first part of the book, is inexplicably attired in a nightshirt and cap when he exits his hole to become lunch for the predator. The text is surrounded by an elaborate border on a buff background patterned with sitting cats, creating an elegant foil for the sense of impending doom communicated in the facing illustrations. This is a slight but intriguing foray into a lesser-known nursery rhyme, and might be considered as a supplemental purchase.

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