Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr. Maxwell's Mouse

Mr. Maxwell's Mouse

Frank Asch
Illustrator:  Devin Asch 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Kids Can Press, 2004   ISBN: 155337486X

Mr. Maxwell is feeling in a celebratory mood. He has just been promoted, and when he arrives at his usual restaurant for lunch he decides to treat himself to a delicacy that he has not had in a long time – raw mouse. Mr. Maxwell soon finds himself face to face with his lunch, a very polite and very verbose mouse who has impeccable manners and who seems to know a great deal about the finer things in life.

Mr. Maxwell is at first irritated by this mouse who keeps interrupting his meal. If only the creature would just be quiet and allow Mr. Maxwell to eat it. Instead the mouse has to say a prayer, he congratulates Mr. Maxwell on his promotion, and he even advises him as to what kind of wine he should have to drink.

It isn’t before Mr. Maxwell finds himself quite unable to cut into this highly talented mouse. The two have become far too well acquainted to make the dining part of the arrangement easy

This wonderful tongue in cheek tale has us rooting for the mouse with all our hearts and souls. Surely the clever little creature is not going to get eaten after all that he has been through. Dark and subdued computer created artwork beautifully captures the mood in the author’s cat-eat-mouse world.