Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice

Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice

Frank Asch
Illustrator:  Devin Asch 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Kids Can Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1554530229

Mrs. Marlowe the cat widow has a secret. In her meticulously neat and tidy apartment she provides a refuge for a large family of mice. This might not sound like much but in her world cats are not supposed to be kind to mice – they are supposed to eat them. Mrs. Marlowe is very careful and all goes well until one of her neighbors reports her and the police come calling. Then she has to do some pretty fast talking, and acting, to satisfying the police that she is not a “mouse-keeper.”

At long last the police leave and Mrs. Marlowe is once again alone with her numerous little lodgers. She and her mice have had a harrowing ordeal but they have come through it in one piece, and now they can rest easy, comfortable in each other’s company and steadfast friendship.

Frank and Devin Asch have collaborated once before when they wrote and illustrated “Mr. Maxwell’s Mouse.” In this book they have once again created a unique tale which presents a world where mice and cats are confirmed enemies. This time though the main cat character is not interested in eating mice. Instead she bravely goes out of her way to protect them from her fellow cats. Wonderfully told with plenty of suspense on the one hand and warmth on the other, this is a picture book which cat lovers are sure to enjoy. Computer generated artwork rich with texture, detail and sepia tones perfectly compliment the story.