A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this story is based on one of Aesop's fables. This retelling includes princesses and castles as well as cats and mice.
What's the story?
In order to improve their lives, mouse and bat are trying to outwit the cats who live upstairs with the princess in comfort and luxury. One plan after another fails until finally the princess pitches in to help, proving it sometimes takes more than bravery and wit to solve a problem.
Is it any good?
The illustrations in this book make it a real keeper. Readers of all ages will find the artwork both captivating and original. And the story is a classic. A slightly altered version of one of Aesop's fables, it's updated by the addition of the princess, her castle, and an upstairs/downstairs scenario that includes mischievous and pampered pool-playing cats and a game of hockey.
The artwork is intriguing, and the idea behind it is uniquely creative. Each colorfully ornate page is a photograph of an actual set built by von Buhler out of wood and plaster, and filled with miniature props. The characters are painted on paper, cut out, and placed in the scenes that she built.
Talk to your kids about ...
What does it mean "to bell the cat"? Why will that solve the problem the mouse and bat are having? How did the princess help?
Some of the pages are split into two levels. What does that say about the way the cats lived versus how the mouse and bat lived? Do you think that was fair? How would you change it?
The princess was kind to the mouse and bat. How did that help them?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.