The Country Mouse and the City Mouse: Based on the Fable Written by Aesop
. Reader's Digest Young Families . Pleasantville, NY ,
PZ8.2.J46 Cou 2003 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is the more original version of a book published in 2006 in its series Famous Fables by the same publishers, Reader's Digest Young Families. This 2003 book is a fuller version of the story but lacks some of the added features of the later series. Let me review first the book's unique approach to the story and then note the differences in this edition. Henry and Emma both enjoy the country meal. Emma has forgotten about picking berries, and so Henry offers to drive them both to town for dessert. His first suggestion was to run to the corner store and get us something sweet, and Emma had to let him know that in the country people grow all their food. They drive to the city in a mouse-sized sportscar. Sweet Treats is right next to Henry's townhouse, with a dessert cart that invites the mice to a feast! They can sneak in under the front door. Pierre, the cook's cat, soon attacks and catches Emma by the tail; Henry has to grab Pierre's whiskers to get Pierre to free his paw from Emma's tail. They run out the back door past Rufus the dog. Henry asks if the dessert was not wonderful, and Emma agrees but asks if was worth all that danger. City life with its excitement is not for her. Henry drives Emma home and promises that he will come again next autumn. The next evening Henry goes out dancing in the city, while Emma settles in at her country home, enjoying turnip and cabbage stew with a nice cup of tea. What was a 20-page book there is a 24-page book here. Gone are the back endpapers' tips for parents, including strategies, discussion questions, and activities that grow out of the story. Gone too is the subtitle: A Tale of Tolerance. Included are pictures revealing the gift from the city as a back-scratcher, which is a human toothbrush. Included are also pictures of the mice eating cake, of the cat caring for herself after her whiskers have been pulled, and of Rufus the dog hot in pursuit of the mice.