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Created by William Steig


This book is mediocre, story and illustration-wise, and yet I keep it and do not recycle it in my regular op-shop tumble-dry. Because there is something there that keeps it safe on my bookshelf, something a little endearing.


Story-line is a mouse is saved by a whale and the mouse in turn saves the whale. So big and little, a theme that is close to my heart. Unrealistic totally, so another thumbs up. And a solid friendship that remains over time...and so it stays wedged in my collection.


I had no idea Steig was a bit of a character. He married four times [geez] and at one time Margaret Mead was his sister-in-law...which is a blast from my uni first-year-anthropology days. He also lived in the narrowest house in Manhattan [who measures them?]. He was a huge part of the New Yorker magazine from his early twenties as a cartoonist and didn't start writing children's books until he hit his sixties. He wrote over thirty kids books and kept at it until his death in his nineties. He wrote the original Shrek story, which Spielberg bought the rights to, later to be tussled away by Dreamworks.


Where to buy: Ooo, could be difficult, as this was published 45 years ago and my edition is 41 years old. Someone obviously loved my op-shop edition because it is very neatly covered in contact. I'm guessing online.

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