The Subway Mouse

by Barbara Reid
ISBN: 0439974682

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A Review of: The Subway Mouse
by Olga Stein

The Subway Mouse has just been nominated for a Governor General's award in the category of kids' lit illustration, and it's plain to see why. Reid's plasticine art is remarkable. The illustrations of her book are like relief paintings-colourful and detailed, while the three-dimensionality of everything depicted makes you want to reach out and touch what you see. Reid is a master at what she does.
The writing isn't as compelling as the illustration, but good enough, and the plot is clever and will keep young readers interested until the end. The story works like a mini epic voyage. Little mouse is born into a family of mice who have, for generations, lived within the tunnels of the subway. At night, an older mouse entertains the youngsters with stories of the legendary Tunnel's End'. Little mouse is intrigued, and when he grows up, he yearns to find this place though he has no way of confirming that it truly exists. One day he takes a leap of faith; he leaves his little corner of the subway station behind and begins a journey through the tunnels, past numberless other stations and their often hostile residents. He meets a friendly mouse called Lola on the way, and she decides to join him on his quest. Just when it begins to look as if Tunnel's End might never be reached, they spy the starry skies and feel the sweet breeze of the outside. You'd have to agree, Tunnel's End is in deed more beautiful than the subway mice could have imagined-especially when you look at this world through the handiwork of Barbara Reid.

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