Can I first let out a hearty LOL!!!!!! 🙂
What a brilliant find. I discovered Ed Young through Lon Po Po and as I was busy rummaging through the online stores I found this one single copy of Ed Young’s Seven Blind Mice, a Caldecott Honor Book.
The picture book is a magnificent celebration of colour and silhouettes. It is a different take on the fable of the blind men and an elephant which according to Wikipedia originated in the Indian Subcontinent.
The story is simple. The seven differently hued mice are trying to figure out a creature in parts – an elephant. Each mouse takes a turn and gives its best shot. The text is sparse and gives you enough space to focus on the images. The black contrast background enhances the colours and parts of the elephant that they are trying to identify. Young’s cut paper effect and play of textures is something to take note of.
This book will work very well as an interactive laptime story. Go ahead, let your child play the eighth mice and give him or her a shot in every page to guess the creature. You can even try confusing them by giving them some ridicul-ouse (ha ha sorry, i had to play with that word…it was too tempting) answers yourself. Also Young’s story actually offers your child a way to visualize the elephant through other objects and animals that it is not but still is.
Coming to how the book ends. I hate stories that have a moral at the end. I always expect the morals to be folded into the story in a manner that it fluffs up in the mind of the reader and unfolds itself by the end. But honestly, in this book I did not mind the moral at the end because I was so focused on the visuals that I missed the message. If Young had not knocked me on the head with it I think I would have never figured it out. The statement on the last page was a real eye opener because i was only focusing on the parts. So here it is – The Mouse Moral
Knowing in part may make a fine tale
but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.
Oh dear, I was blind :(.
Highly recommended picture book. Definitely a keeper.