The Wedding of the Rat Family
. M.K. McElderry Books , Macmillan Publishing Company . NY ,
PZ8.1.K359 We 1988 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Delightfully illustrated with detailed rat faces against simple backgrounds. The text of the story is developed at some length. The circumstances of the family are, for example, developed at length. They were proud but had reason to be humble and also anxious. The mother-rat (Precious) thus claims that her great-grandparents dined at kings' tables, while the text goes on to point out that they dined under the tables and after the kings! The father-rat (Beloved) proclaims We must marry our daughter Mulan up in the world! And his wife has made a list of requirements for a potential spouse, who must be: rich, powerful, influential, and of ancient ancestry. There is a glorious picture as Mr. Rat addresses the sun. Most of those he goes to see are pleasant, but wall is abrupt and hostile; two stones bounce out of the wall toward Mr. Rat as he speaks. He and his wife then conceive the bright idea to marry her into the cat family. Another of the best illustrations shows the cats' court. A favorite illustration of mine shows all sorts of mice preparing clothes and gifts and chariots for the marriage. A huge procession of well-fattened rats brings the family into the cat family mansion, where the cats spring upon the whole party and eat them! The poor rats left behind soon pick up and become fat and happy. And this new clan of rats lives proud that they are stronger than Wall who is stronger than Wind…. The last picture is appropriately of a fat cat licking its chops!