Who Will Bell the Cat?
Who Will Bell the Cat?
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Annotation: After barn mice make a collar with a bell to warn them when Marmalade the cat is approaching, Smart Mouse must devise a way to safely put the collar on her in this retelling of a Aesop fable.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #160251
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Cyr, Christopher,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8234-3700-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-8234-3700-9
Dewey: 398.2
LCCN: 2017023261
Dimensions: 24 x 29 cm.
Subject Heading:
Fables.
Folklore.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Newbery Honor Book author McKissack's Marmalade is no sweet and gentle feline. After some very kind and thoughtful mice nurse the sick and hungry cat back to health, he turns on them viciously. At the monthly mouse meeting, Smart Mouse tells the colony of small rodents that they must defend themselves. They find a bell and fashion a collar. But how to attach it around the ferocious feline's neck? Various plans fail, so they desperately enlist the help of the Rat Pack. But in an oversize double-page spread, the orange cat prevails, fending off the biggest, meanest rats anyone can imagine. Though the cat's eventually collared when someone new arrives, Old Wise Mouse offers a warning (à la Aesop): "When you use a tiger to get rid of a lion, what will you do with the tiger? (That's another problem for a different day.)" The deeply toned orange, red, and brown palette created digitally creates a realistic atmosphere for a truly scary piece of folklore about clever little ones coping with a brutal foe.
Kirkus Reviews
The mice in the barn have a cat problem and must rely on their own wits to solve it.After taking pity on a poor starving tabby cat named Marmalade, the barn mice learn that no good deed goes unpunished when she becomes a tyrant, terrorizing the very creatures who nursed her back to health. When life becomes intolerable, the mice craft a collar with a bell to warn them of Marmalade's approach, but who will take on the perilous duty of belling the cat? In this book, published posthumously, the beloved, multiaward-winning McKissack leaves readers one more insightful tale that teaches the value of self-reliance and gently cautions against believing preconceived notions. Reminiscent of Margery Sharpe's The Rescuers, the classed society of mice enlists aid from the dreaded rats and even a barn bird before they are forced to rely on a most unexpected ally. Cyr, in his debut picture book, creates an atmospheric and precarious landscape through brilliant use of shadow and color. Marmalade's eyes, a lugubrious shade of yellow, convey the full extent of her villainy, while the scale of the mice in the shadowy barn reinforces the danger that they are in. A black nuclear family is seamlessly integrated in the conclusion.A lovely posthumous gift that will undoubtedly draw readers into the prolific author's body of work. (Picture book. 4-7)
Publishers Weekly
Lush, cinematic illustrations add drama to the late McKissack-s retelling of Aesop-s classic fable. After a group of warmhearted barn mice nurse a cat back to health, the cat, named Marmalade, turns on them, terrifying them as they gather to figure out what to do. Her chilly metallic eyes, savage teeth, and curved claws are genuinely scary. Debut illustrator Cyr shows the conclave of mice lit by a stained-glass window as Smart Mouse speaks from a matchbook lectern. The mice secure a sleigh bell and attach it
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The mice in the barn have a cat problem and must rely on their own wits to solve it.After taking pity on a poor starving tabby cat named Marmalade, the barn mice learn that no good deed goes unpunished when she becomes a tyrant, terrorizing the very creatures who nursed her back to health. When life becomes intolerable, the mice craft a collar with a bell to warn them of Marmalade's approach, but who will take on the perilous duty of belling the cat? In this book, published posthumously, the beloved, multiaward-winning McKissack leaves readers one more insightful tale that teaches the value of self-reliance and gently cautions against believing preconceived notions. Reminiscent of Margery Sharpe's The Rescuers, the classed society of mice enlists aid from the dreaded rats and even a barn bird before they are forced to rely on a most unexpected ally. Cyr, in his debut picture book, creates an atmospheric and precarious landscape through brilliant use of shadow and color. Marmalade's eyes, a lugubrious shade of yellow, convey the full extent of her villainy, while the scale of the mice in the shadowy barn reinforces the danger that they are in. A black nuclear family is seamlessly integrated in the conclusion.A lovely posthumous gift that will undoubtedly draw readers into the prolific author's body of work. (Picture book. 4-7)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (3/1/18)
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 1,062
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 196586 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD720L
Guided Reading Level: M

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year!
A Chicago Tribune Best Children's Book of the Year!

Weak, sick, and hungry, a tabby cat seeks shelter in an old barn, where the mice take pity on her and make her a warm, cozy bed in the straw. . .


But as soon as she feels better, Marmalade the cat begins doing what cats do: chasing the mice!

When Smart Mouse stumbles across an old bell, the mice hatch a plan to make sure Marmalade can never sneak up on them again... but who will be able to get the collar onto the cat?

Retold by a master storyteller, this well-known fable is brought to life by bold, luminous illustrations of gentle mice, cozy barn corners, and of course, the magnificent feline rage of Marmalade on the hunt.

A perfect read-aloud for winter days.


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