This is a fable of three friends – mouse, cat and dog – who live together in a house by the sea and are visited by a stranger, who washes up on a lilo and appears to be a door-to-door salesman for a company selling impossible dreams. That the salesman is a fox seems to bode ill for the friends and, sure enough, with the seed packets he carries, he sows such dissatisfaction that mouse decides to leave home and, swept out to sea, is saved only by the timely rescue of his friends. The basic structure and setting of the tale is familiar (Helen Cooper’s Pumpkin Soup comes to mind); and there isn’t the scope for the non-stop inventive humour of Grey’s ‘Traction Man’ epics, although it creeps in here and there. Here, Grey returns to the big and bold storytelling, double page spreads and vertically divided pages of her award winning Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. Perhaps the remarkable thing about this story is its moral ambiguity. Although the fox is unscrupulous and devious, and sets friend against friend, his disturbance of the unthinking routine of the household is liberating, bringing a more closely shared and richer life to the friends. In a world where change is constant and can bring pain and heartache into the lives of even young children, this might provide reassurance that, sometimes at least, whatever immediate unhappiness there may be, change can be for the better.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2010-11-01 00:00:422022-02-28 15:44:29Three by the Sea