In an empty world with lazy gods three children decide to fill in the gaps by creating their own animals. They start with a little mouse, and when that doesn’t cause any trouble–or rouse the gods from their naps–they create progressively larger animals. David Almond and Dave McKean create an unusual story that won’t appeal to every reader, much less every child. Because despite it’s dark tone, scary moments, and philosophical musings, it is a book that is aimed at children, ages 8 to 12. Though I think that anyone with an interest in fantastic storytelling or McKean’s art will want to give this book a chance.
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf is a fable that opens up more questions than it answers. The power of imagination, the nature of evil, taking creative risks. These aren’t easy ideas, but Almond and McKean have a way of making them really quite beautiful–if a bit dangerous. Not for sensitive readers, most likely. Nor for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of lazy gods or alternative creation stories. I’ll also note that the female gods are topless, and in a couple of illustrations there is a glimpse of boobs. Assuming none of those things are an issue, this is a must read.
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