Synopses & Reviews
Mr. Maxwell is one contented cat. He has just been promoted. And what better way to celebrate than by going to his favorite restaurant, the Paw and Claw? He decides to live a little and order the house specialty a live mouse. When the headwaiter asks if they should kill the mouse, Mr. Maxwell says that isn't necessary. He knows the Paw and Claw's mice are bred for politeness! But this particular live mouse can't keep quiet would Mr. Maxwell like to add a little salt? Or order a glass of wine? Would he mind saving a little prayer before eating? My, what a bold and wordy mouse! Mr. Maxwell hopes the mouse doesn't give him indigestion...
Richly illustrated and full of surprises, Mr. Maxwell's Mouse is a David-and-Goliath story with claws, whiskers and tails.
"Father-son team Frank and Devin Asch (Like a Windy Day; Baby Duck's New Friend) here team up for a cat-and-mouse tale that showcases the younger Asch's lush digital artistic talents, alongside the elder's witty text. Lunching at the opulent Paw and Claw to celebrate his job promotion, Mr. Maxwell, a genteel black cat, forgoes his usual baked mouse for an order of mixed green salad and a main dish of raw mouse. The artist characterizes the restaurant as well as the proportions and dress of its feline patrons as decidedly human and upscale; he underscores the grave theme with somber shades of olive brown and rusty red. Yet he leavens the proceedings when Mr. Maxwell's entre arrives reposing atop a slice of rye. The mouse, 'bred for plumpness and politeness' (according to the headwaiter), congratulates the cat on his promotion, convinces him to purchase a glass of Beaujolais and generally becomes a too-amiable edible. Readers should soon catch onto the mouse's feigned innocence. When the cat's growing discomfort gets the best of him, the mouse persuades him to use a blindfold and substitutes the feline's tail on the plate. Even though all ends well (for the mouse, at least), some children may be uncomfortable with a few of the images: the glinting knife and fork pressed to the mouse's belly and the bloody (though not fatal) result of the cat's error. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] delicious cat-and-mouse tale in which small outsmarts large....Visually stunning, the period setting, captivating illustrations, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue create a delectable tail, er, tale of one-upmouseship to be savored." Kirkus Reviews
"A clever game of cat and mouse is presented with delicious humor....Readers will relish the formal language as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to a very funny, if macabre, story....A truly scrumptious treat." School Library Journal
In this picture book from the acclaimed father-and-son author-illustrator team of Frank and Devin Asch, Mr. Maxwell's lively lunch gives him more than indigestion. A David-and-Goliath story with claws, whiskers and tails.