Bernelly and Harriet
The Country Mouse and the City Mouse
By Elizabeth Dahlie
Little, Brown, April 2002
ISBN 0-316-60811-4 Hardcover
Children / fiction
Ages 4 - 8

Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe, MyShelf.Com
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Elizabeth Dahlie re-tells the classic Country Mouse, City Mouse tale from Aesop with great humor and affection. This is a story that adults and children will love to share.

Bernelly is the country cousin who loves the outdoors, and gardening, teaches fly fishing, and ties a beautiful fly. Harriet is the city cousin, an artist who loves to paint in her comfortable apartment, enjoys shopping, the theater and restaurants. When Bernelly's fishing boot develops a leak, she decides to pay a visit to Harriet to shop for a new pair in the city.

Harriet takes Bernelly on shopping trips, to the ballet, and visiting museums, but Bernelly really wants to go back to her own home. It's just too noisy and crowded in the city. She tells Harriet what fun it is to fish for trout, and persuades her to visit the country with her. Harriet tries hard to be interested in the things Bernelly loves, but it just isn't home. It's too quiet, and she misses the shopping, the noise, and the smells of the city.

Dahlie's illustrations are superb, with great attention to detail. She shows such expression on the faces of the mouse cousins; you can really see how uncomfortable each is in the other's environment. Dahlie illustrated the book "Henrietta" by David Marnet, but this is the first book that she has both written and illustrated. She has certainly found her calling, and if you love the wonderful old fables, this book is one you won't want to miss.


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