The King, the Mice and the Cheese
Nancy & Eric Gurney ~ Random House, 1965
In retrospect, I have no idea why I used to obsess over this title in the school library. It's not that the illustrations are particularly special... in some kind of broad generalization/sexist way, they are probably better suited for boys. And still, I used to take it from the shelf over and over again and read about the king with the mouse problem with such rapt attention to detail, that it shocked me how much of the story I remembered when I became reacquainted with it through my son. (Whew, that was a mouthful!)
Now, despite my better (and snootier) judgement, here it is, in all its primary color glory. Soooo, there's this king, see. And he loves cheese, and we all know who else likes cheese. When his kingdom becomes infested with the little critters, he calls on his wise men to find a solution.
"How can I get rid of these mice?" he asked them.
The wise men thought of a wonderful idea.
The wise men brought in cats...
big cats, little cats,
fat cats and thin cats.
The mice-chasing cats did a very good job.
Soon all of the mice
were gone from the palace.
But then of course, the king finds himself with a cat problem... and when the dogs are brought in, well, you can see how the story progresses from there. That is until the kingdom becomes overrun with elephants, and guess who gets hauled in to do the scatting? Ha! Maybe it was the fact that the book is so tickling and the good guys win and small guys can outsmart big guys, who knows? I do know that my boy is just an enamored with the king and his mice. It must be something in the cheese, I guess.