Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice

Catherine Lewis, Author, Joost Swarte, Illustrator
Catherine Lewis, illus. by Joost Swarte. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-4169-5784-3
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Release date: 08/27/2013
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-4424-6076-8
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Lewis makes wonderfully clever use of the “Three Blind Mice” nursery rhyme to illustrate nearly 100 elements of writing and literature—plot, dialogue, flashbacks, coincidence, and more. The concept of sentimentality is framed as a publisher’s rejection letter, picking apart a mouse’s mawkish manuscript; “Wow, that’s sharp!” remarks another mouse, gingerly touching a kitchen knife on a page about foreshadowing. Lewis expands on each term in brief “Snip of the Tale” summaries and an extensive appendix. “It’s not just the idea, but the author’s way of putting it,” she writes of style, following samples from the likes of Dickens Mouse and Hemingway Mouse (“Three mice. Woman with knife. No tails”). Swarte’s clean-line b&w cartoons ramp up the energy and comedy. For writers of any age, it’s a very funny and useful resource. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
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