Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mouse Tales ~ Guest Post by Nikalas Catlow

One of my favorite bloggers (the apple and the egg) is the multi-talented Niklas Catlow, illustrator, designer, children's book author, and overseer of the design of the young fiction list at Random House Children's Books in the UK. Here he shares with us a sweet, little memory of one of his favorite vintage children's books; one that is out-of-print in the UK, but a classic still available in the US. Let's make him at home and be sure to check out his blog. He's a super talented guy. Oh, and comment on this post before midnight tonight and be eligible to win nice vintage paperback copies of Lobel's Mouse Soup and Frog and Toad are Friends. I'll announce a winner in the morning. Oh too, the winner of yesterday's gimme of Flat Stanley is wmmahaney! Contact webe(at)soon(dot)com... you know the drill. ~ Scribbler

Mouse Tales
Arnold Lobel ~ (UK) World's Work & (US) Harper & Row, 1972

I thought the perfect book to do a guest post on a retro kids book blog would be the only children's book I still own that actually was my book when I was a kid. The book is called Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel and is a collection of short stories involving mice. It was "An I Can Read Book", published by World's Work Ltd 1972 (costing a total of 60p).

The book is even more special to me because it was bought for me by my father who is no longer alive. My dad had a knack of buying books for me which was a pretty tough job being that I was an incredibly reluctant reader.

I love Arnold Lobel's illustrations. I've seen some of his other books and his style can change slightly. I don't think that the illustrations have really dated and apart from the rather strange page layouts of the book I think it could be reprinted with very few updates.

About six years ago I took the text from one of these stories and re-illustrated it as part of my application work onto a children's book illustration MA course. It was a really interesting exercise to take a text from a book, dismantle it and put it back together with your own illustrations. It gave me a great insight into the workings of a good story.

Also by:
The Terrible Tiger
Red Tag Comes Back
Oscar Otter
The Star Thief
Mouse Tales
Prince Bertram the Bad
The Secret Three
Benny's Animals
Miss Suzy
Martha the Movie Mouse
Terry and the Caterpillars
The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck
Ice Cream Cone Coot


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  1. Arnold Lobel's Mouse Tales is one of my favorites from childhood.

    I recently read it to my 4 year old, and he LOVED it. He laughed more then I have ever hear him laugh for other books.

  2. Gorgeous illustrations. I'm not familiar with the book, but just the style has me hooked already. Mice and rats are my favorite picture book characters...

  3. Lobel is definitely a fave here--I'll have to look this one up.

  4. I love Mouse Tales! Thanks for highlighting it.

  5. Found this in my old books and remembered how much I loved it. It has quickly become a favorite with my 3-year-old!