It is indeed magical when two great men, in their respective fields, come together to give you a whole new world. Mouse Bird Snake and Wolf is born from the minds of two such men, David Almond and David Mckean. From Almond’s pen unfolds the story of creations. He tells us the story of a world where Gods, having created all that they could, become lazy and turn to cakes, tea and siestas for a living. Three kids, Harry, Sue and Little Ben decide to take up creating into their own hands. Out of their own imagination, pour out a mouse, a snake, a bird and a wolf. Unfortunately for them, their last creation (the wolf) turns against its own creators. They learn a few lessons after that.
The book is definitely meant for older children as the illustrations are a bit spooky. The obvious, like in most books, is for kids and the subtle inferences are meant for adults. With Mckean’s illustrations and Almond’s dark narration anyone would assume this book to lean over towards the genre of a graphic novel. But it is not.
Creating something is always a wonderful and a beautiful capacity. How we all love to create. But after reading this book I am not sure if I would like to create anything that plays a big role in the environment. As a believer of God, I know now why the smaller creations are left to us and the bigger ones are taken up by him/her. Within the capacity of my mind, lack of power over my sense of self and with limited understanding of the world I should never be allowed to create something as important as the wolf simply because I will never be able to anticipate the extreme consequences of my creation (like getting eaten by it). You get my point? So maybe I should stick to writing blogs (creation) and making vlogs (creation again) instead of creating creatures that end up turning the ecosystem upside down.
Now about the illustrations – Oh dear god! I love them. The exaggerated colours and woody faces are brilliant. So typically Mckean! The lazy gods in black and white are ideal for scene differentiation. Sigh! I wish I could write or draw like that.
For those of you who don’t know David Almond do check out his Skellig and The Boy who swam with the Piranhas. And for those who don’t know David Mckean do check out Coraline and The Day I swapped my Dad for a Goldfish. You’ll spot the pattern, don’t worry.
Totally, totally recommend it for reading and crazy art lovers (like me)! Pick it!