Once a Mouse...
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, April 1, 1972)
"No one shall tell me that I was once a mouse!" roars the tiger. But an old hermit, mighty at magic, does tell him; for it was he who first changed the tiger from a wretched little mouse to a stout cat, to a big dog, and finally, to his proud and royal self. Youngest readers will take special delight in seeing these changes take place in Marcia Brown's dramatic picturing of the tiger's fall from grace. Older boys and girls will read more meaning into the text. A rajah of ancient India is said to have had such popular animal fables collected as a "mirror for princes" to instruct his errant sons. Marcia Brown retells this fable from the Hitopadesa in vigorous style and illustrates it in woodcuts of exceptional quality. With a fluidity rare in the medium, they achieve the difficult feat of retaining their strong appeal for children while captivating art lovers of all ages.