'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Review: The Green-Eyed Mouse and the Blue-Eyed Mouse

Title: The Green-Eyed Mouse and the Blue-Eyed Mouse

Author/Illustrator: Bob Gill

Publisher: Phaidon, $19.99 RRP

Publication date: 01/09/2010

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 9780714848877

For ages: 2 - 5

Type: Picture Book

About: Oh this is scrumptious. What is it about retro and retro-style books that strip away the pomp and ceremony and just operate on beautiful design and cleverness? It’s really that simple, and why they’re so simply fabulous.

Legendary author/illustrator Bob Gill achieves simplicity, humour, beauty and more in this gorgeous book about two mice who spend the majority of the book peeking at each other through a teensy hole in the wall. One mouse sees nothing but a big green eye, the other mouse sees nothing but blue.

‘Who are you?’ says Noah, the blue-eyed mouse.

‘Who are you?” says Raffaella, the green-eyed mouse.

But neither of them are brave enough to reveal who they are – thinking that one is tricking the other and are really ferocious blue-eyed or green-eyed polar bears or snakes or traffic wardens.

How can one tell, after all, what lies behind a teensy hole in the wall?

Eventually, after much to-ing and fro-ing, Raffaella steps it up a notch (figuring the end of the book would not have a happy ending if it kept going on, ad infinitum) and suggests they reveal themselves after the count of three.

But will the two mice be brave enough to trust each other and maybe even become friends?

This clever book is punched throughout with a single hole on each page, showing both the blue and green eyes that are subsequently illustrated with imaginative possibilities – and much uncertain conversation between the two main characters.

The text is classically Bob Gill funny (the green-eyed mouse was called Noah despite having a Chinese mother, for example) and the illustrations are simple line drawings with the use of only a blue or green eye, peeking through snowy pages.

This is an ideal book for any young child but it’s also a must-have for collectors of beautiful children’s books. A modern classic.

This book is available online