Synopses & Reviews
Mini Greys spin on the nursery rhyme classic “Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle” is a love story of sorts that starts when “the dish ran away with the spoon.” In the midst of the Great Depression, Dish and Spoon become rich and famous vaudeville stars—until their taste for the high life puts them in debt to a gang of sharp and shady characters (depicted as evil knives). The cinematic presentation—with a touch of Bonnie and Clyde, a dash of “The Perils of Pauline”—proves that crime doesnt pay and love conquers all. A visual treat with new details to discover again and again, here is absurd good fun for the whole family.
"Hey Diddle Diddle' serves as prequel to this delightful swashbuckler, which chronicles the ups and downs of a nursery-rhyme romance. When someone (furry paws imply it's the famous fiddling cat) plays a red disk labeled 'Hey Diddle Diddle' on a child-size record player, the Dish and the Spoon sprint into the moonlit night. 'How could we resist?' asks the Spoon, who tells their story. In a three-part spread, they leap from an English cliff and sail (like Dahl's Giant Peach) to the Statue of Liberty, with the Dish acting as a raft and the Spoon as a mast with a kerchief sail. In 1920s New York, their acrobatics are a vaudeville sensation. Soon they're driving a cream-yellow roadster and throwing money around with Gatsbyesque abandon. But they squander their cash and end up on Skid Row, among cracked teacups and the sinister Carving Knife Gang. Grey (Traction Man Is Here!) moves briskly from one comic cliffhanger to the next, including a close call on the railroad tracks and a Bonnie-and-Clyde bank heist with tragic consequences for the ceramic moll. Years go by before a tearful reunion in a lowly junk shop (filled with objects from the opening spread), but unlike Randolph Caldecott's shattering version, in which the broken plate does not recover, Grey foresees a future for the antique heroes. She squeezes multiple panels into every spread, alternating between the main plot and clever asides; tiny details chart the couple's showbiz career ('New in Town: The Knife and the Fork') and crime spree ('wanted' posters identify the Dish's 'glazed expression' and the silver utensil's 'metallic colour'). Sprung from a familiar stanza, this inventive tale of true love will sustain many rereadings by readers of all ages. Ages 6-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Combine this contemporary makeover with the classic original for a delightful mix that is full of panache. A whole new generation of youngsters, as well as older kids, will be enthusiastically chanting this nursery rhyme." School Library Journal
"Spoon's narration has just the right air of world-weariness mixed with wide-eyed idealism to draw readers in to the fun, while the mixed-media illustrations employ full-bleed sequential panels to present the whole story." Kirkus Reviews
"What will delight children are Grey's eclectic, colorful artwork, varied compositions, and irreverence toward a familiar rhyme." Booklist
Mini Grey's spin on the nursery rhyme classic "Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle" is a love story of sorts that starts when "the dish ran away with the spoon." In the midst of the Great Depression, Dish and Spoon become rich and famous vaudeville stars — until their taste for the high life puts them in debt to a gang of sharp and shady characters (depicted as evil knives). The cinematic presentation — with a touch of Bonnie and Clyde, a dash of The Perils of Pauline — proves that crime doesn't pay and love conquers all. A visual treat with new details to discover again and again, here is absurd good fun for the whole family.
Grey's spin on the nursery rhyme classic is a love story that starts when "the dish ran away with the spoon." In the midst of the Great Depression, Dish and Spoon become rich and famous vaudeville stars--until their taste for the high life puts them in debt. Illustrations.
About the Author
Mini lives in Oxford with her partner Tony and cat Bonzetta. She likes running along the river, cycling, walking up hills, running down corridors, and playing badly on her electric piano wearing headphones.