John Yeoman ~ Quentin Blake ~ Macmillan, 1972
With all the love for Dahl in this house of late, you can hardly worship him without giving props to his last illustrator, the wonderful Quentin Blake whose creations (equal parts grump and whimsy) match Dahl's words, frame for frame in spirit. The majority of Dahl's books (if not all, yes? no?) were illustrated or reillustrated by Blake. But even before that, Quentin penned a ton of books exclusively, Clown and Cockatoos being the boy's faves. Of the hundreds of books he's drawn over the years, there a number of titles by Yeoman, including this little fable of a miller, a cat and a google of mice (a google being the word my son uses when he wants to describe something there is a lot of.) And so the tale begins...
A long, long time ago there stood an old windmill, perched on the top of a hill. In its day it had been a very fine windmill, but the miller who owned it now was a mean, bad-tempered man, who would never spend money on repairs. There was one thing that made him especially grumpy--mouse trouble.
Because the mill is so decrepit, the mouse kind of take over, and when the miller acquires a hapless feline to fix the problem, the cat finds itself outnumbered and outsmarted. As the miller gets ready to put the cat out of its misery (or rather, his misery), it's up to the mice to save the day. Great, great book.
One thing I love about Blake's drawings are his Brillo whiskers, and they are 80-fold here. The cat's are especially frumpy and really set the mood for this somewhat depressing (but ultimately uplifting) book. Up until now, I've been letting Blake's works find me, but I think I'm gonna ad him to the eBay list. Some of them just seem too good to sit around and wait for.Also by: