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list price: $23.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: Hardcover
category: Children's Fiction
published: Apr 2011
ISBN:9781566568562
publisher: Interlink Books
imprint: Crocodile Books

The Mouse Who Saved Egypt

by Karim Alrawi, illustrated by Bee Willey

tagged: mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.
Description

See how a small kindness can be repaid a thousand times over in this retelling of an ancient Middle Eastern folk tale.

About the Authors

Karim Alrawi

KARIM ALRAWI was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He went to school in England and after graduation he worked as a writer at several theatres including the Royal Court Theatre and the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Returning to Egypt he taught in the theatre department of the American University in Cairo. After his plays were banned by the Egyptian state censor, he became active in the newly formed Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. This eventually led to his arrest and interrogation by state security officers.

After re-joining his family in Canada he taught at the University of Victoria and later was a resident writer at theatres in the US. After a period as editor-in-chief of Arabica, a cultural and current affairs magazine for the Arab-American community, Alrawi supervised aid and development projects (funded by USAID and CIDA) in North Africa and South Asia. He was in the Middle East during the 2011 Arab uprisings.

He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. Book of Sands is his first novel. It won the inaugural HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction.


Bee Willey

KARIM ALRAWI was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He went to school in England and after graduation he worked as a writer at several theatres including the Royal Court Theatre and the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Returning to Egypt he taught in the theatre department of the American University in Cairo. After his plays were banned by the Egyptian state censor, he became active in the newly formed Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. This eventually led to his arrest and interrogation by state security officers.

After re-joining his family in Canada he taught at the University of Victoria and later was a resident writer at theatres in the US. After a period as editor-in-chief of Arabica, a cultural and current affairs magazine for the Arab-American community, Alrawi supervised aid and development projects (funded by USAID and CIDA) in North Africa and South Asia. He was in the Middle East during the 2011 Arab uprisings.

He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. Book of Sands is his first novel. It won the inaugural HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
5 to 6
Grade:
p to 2
Editorial Review

Karim Alrawi plucks a story from the rich history of his native Egypt and renders it appealing to a young and diverse audience. The Mouse Who Saved Egypt is a wonderful retelling of an ancient Middle Eastern folk tale with a straightforward plot: a prince takes the time to rescue a mouse trapped in a thorn bush; when the prince later becomes pharaoh, the mouse returns to save Egypt from attack. Alrawi's language is as timeless as the tale he tells. His extensive experience as a playwright is on full display; his third person narrator recites the tale passionately but without embellishment, and when the rhyming prayer to the sun god Ra appears in the story, it is relayed with appropriate reverence and solemnity. Illustrator Bee Willey's generous spreads whisk readers away to the sun-bleached deserts and cool blue stones of ancient Egypt. Unlike the text, though, the illustrations have just a hint of the comic: a horse with a sheepish grin, men running amok with arms flung above their heads. The message of the tale faith in the reciprocity of good deeds is presented in an elegant and functional manner. It assures little ones: do something good, and one day you'll be rewarded for your kindness. ---Kristina Campbell, Quill & Quire
Children will be intrigued by the mystery and magic... The text is well supported by the rich two-page illustrations in mixed media. The images show the vastness and beauty of the Egyptian desert, as well as details of ancient culture and art, food, architecture and religion... Recommended. - --Resource Links
Alrawi s (The Girl Who Lost Her Smile) story carries the same do-unto-others message as Aesop s The Lion and the Mouse. Instead of a lion, a prince initially saves a mouse, disentangling it from a thornbush. True greatness is being kind, the mouse tells the prince as he runs off, and true kindness is never forgotten. Wiley (The Jesse Tree) creates a desert atmosphere by placing friendly, soulful-eyed characters against digitally manipulated backdrops of hieroglyphics, palms, and sand dunes, all lit with an eerie, gauzy glow. The prince is made pharaoh, and an army threatens the country; in repayment for the prince s good deed, the mouse persuades his fellow mice to sabotage the enemy army s equipment. The mice chewed through the leather of their bows, their saddles and the straps of their shields. In the morning, the mountain men could not tie their sandals, and their clothes fell off. The image of small creatures defeating the powerful is always gratifying, as is the book s thoughtful portrayal of Egyptian cultural themes. Ages 3 8. (Oct.) --Publishers Weekly, October 17 2011
Recommended... Egyptian-born Karim Alrawi narrates a captivating ancient Middle Eastern folk tale in an unadorned, yet engaging, manner. His voice is that of a storyteller, capturing the mystique and the grandeur of the land and its people. Bee Willey s double-paged digital artwork educates as well as entertains. Readers will be fascinated not only by the ancient Egyptian panorama, but also with the architecture, customs, clothing and communications of this venerable civilization. Look closely! The heroic mouse can be spotted on nearly every page. This delightful teaching tale exemplifies what a big difference a little bit of kindness can make. --Canadian Children s Book News
Award-winning writer and playwright, Karim Alrawi, brings a new renditions of Aesop s fable about the lion and the mouse. One day in the deserts of ancient Egypt a young prince rescues a tiny mouse trapped in thorns. The mouse promises to repay the act of kindness, but the young man is skeptical. Fortune favors the prince and he becomes pharaoh. When Egypt is threatened by a powerful enemy, he faces great danger. Just when he thinks that there is nothing to be done, the mouse he once helped returns to save the kingdom in a most unexpected way. With stunning and distinctive illustrations by Bee Willey, this teaching tale of kindness and it s rewards . . . shows how the smalled of creatures can also be the most heroic. --Foreword

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Annotations

Top  Grade
Librarian review

The Mouse Who Saved Egypt

See how a small kindness can be repaid a thousand times over. In this retelling of an ancient Middle Eastern folk tale, Karim Alrawi follows up his best-selling The Girl Who Lost Her Smile with another classic fable.

A book that teaches kindness and how the smallest creatures can be the most heroic. I would use this book when teaching fables, as well as to encourage readers to consider how morals or messages can be gleaned from adventure stories. Though set in Ancient Egypt, this picture book is relevant to contemporary world issues of power and injustice.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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