Finally, the solution to Aesop’s age-old question:
Who will bell the cats?
Mouse and his friend, Brown Bat, are determined to get out of the basement and into the banquet hall to join the fun and frolicking there.
But escape won’t be easy with the cats blocking their efforts . . .
It will take many attempts and a surprising solution for Mouse and Bat to succeed.
Cynthia von Buhler’s enchanted upstairs/downstairs world shows readers the rewards of determination, bravery,
and creativityand reminds them of the uncomplicated power of kindness.
Aesop's fable asking, "Who will bell the cat?" sets the stage for this tale of a princess and eight cats in a castle and a mouse and his bat friend in the cellar. Tired of living in squalor on crumbs, Mouse dons armor and sword to put bells on the cats as a warning. They soon send him fleeing downstairs. He next tries a dog costume, in vain. From the trinkets that have fallen through the cracks in the floor, Mouse decides to make jeweled collars for the bells. With a fashion show he hopes to convince the cats that these are the latest style. Unfortunately the cats prepare to bake Mouse and Brown Bat into pies instead. Fortunately the princess arrives in time to save them. Inspired, Mouse finally has the princess solve his problem. Von Buhler uses an incredible variety of media including plaster, wood, mother-of-pearl, and characters painted in oils and cut out to create and photograph the chiefly dark, very complex detailed scenes. The jacket shows a cat peering in at the cluttered basement home of Mouse and Bat. But on the cover we are confronted by startling portraits of the eight felines all dressed up and staring at us. Fancy thin gold frames add a serious note to each scene, but humor prevails. Across many double pages there are two levels of action, upstairs and downstairs, with a different typeface for each area. The anthropomorphic characters have strong, individual personalities, inspiring close attention to the illustrations along with the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz