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A retelling of the Grimm tale in which an old donkey, dog, cat, and rooster, no longer wanted by their masters, set out for Bremen to become musicians.
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K-Gr 3--A retelling of the well-known tale of four animals, too old to be of use to their owners, who join forces and, by serenading a band of robbers, find a home. The illustrations are done in delicate ink outlines, then colored with what appear to be overlays of colored pencil and spattered paint in subtle colors. They are well drawn, and potentially lovely, but Johnson has given every character oddly mismatched disks--one red, one blue--in place of eyes, which makes them all look decidedly loony and rather unsettling. In addition, the narration is written in a peculiarly inflated vocabulary that makes the book too difficult for independent reading. The accompanying CD, read with a working-class British accent by actor Bob Hoskins, is underlined with lively, jazzy, and expressive music played on piano, saxophone, violin, and bass; it does a lot to redeem the package. Janet Stevens has retold and illustrated the same tale (Holiday, 1992) with a simpler text and her delightfully scruffy trademark animals, while Hans Wilhelm's cheerier version (Scholastic, 1992) has robbers of both sexes (who closely resemble the animals' uncaring owners), as well as a more accessible vocabulary.
Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0689802366
Book Description Simon & Schuster (Juv), 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0689802366
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110689802366