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9780887767166_cover Enlarge Cover
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list price: $21.99
edition:Hardcover
published: March 2007
ISBN:9780887767166
publisher: Tundra

Ten Old Men and a Mouse

by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Gary Clement

reviews: 2
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jewish
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.99
edition:Hardcover
published: March 2007
ISBN:9780887767166
publisher: Tundra
Description

The synagogue was once a busy, bustling place, but now only ten old men come to tend it and pray each day. Then one day, a little scritch-scratch betrays the first new member in years: a tiny mouse who has taken up residence among the holy books. Of course, a trap must be set, but who will do it? Al volunteers, but in the morning the mouse is still there, and is just a little more appealing than he was before.

Day after day, the men become more engaged, until the mouse has a bed, pictures on the wall, and a little carpet, not to mention all the treats the men bring. Then comes the biggest surprise of all. He is a she, giving the ten old men reason to celebrate with peach schnapps — and to plan a trip to the country where they find the perfect place to release their numerous charges. Back at the synagogue, fall turns to winter. The ten old men miss their mice until a little scritch-scratch….

Full of gentle humor and witty truisms, Cary Fagan’s Ten Old Men and a Mouse will delight both the young and old. Illustrations by Gary Clement heighten the fun.

About the Authors

Cary Fagan has won the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Jewish Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, and his books have been nominated for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, the Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award and the Rocky Mountain Book Award. He is the author of several popular short novels and picture books, including Danny, Who Fell in a Hole and A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (illustrated by Banafsheh Erfanian). The Old World, his recent collection of adult short stories, was published by Anansi in March 2017.

Author profile page >

Gary Clement is an award-winning author and illustrator of books including Swimming, Swimming and The Great Poochini. He is the editorial cartoonist for the National Post, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

A native of Toronto, Cary Fagan is an award-winning children’s author, a writer of adult novels, and editor and contributor to a number of magazines and newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, and Books in Canada. His work has won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction. Cary has written several picture books for Tundra. Including Gogol’s Coat, and The Market Wedding. Daughter of the Great Zandini, winner of a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, was Cary’s first novel for children. The Fortress of Kaspar Snit, was his second. He also wrote Beyond the Dance, a biography of the National Ballet of Canada’s prima ballerina, Chan Hon Goh which was shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Award for children’s non-fiction. Cary lives in Toronto with his two children.

Gary Clement has been the political cartoonist for Canada’s National Post since its launch in 1998. As a freelance illustrator, his work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Time, and Mother Jones. His illustrations have received numerous awards in Canada and in the United States. He is the author and illustrator of two children’s books, Just Stay Put and The Great Poochini, which received the Governor General’s Award for illustration in 1999. He also paints, draws, and exhibits. Gary Clement lives in Toronto with his wife, Gill, their two children, and a couple of animals.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
4 to 6
Grade:
p to 1
Editorial Review

“…immediately enjoyable with its familiar structure, subtle humour, and gentle pace. Rendered in warm water-colours, [the art] captures all the humour and sentimentality of the story, but adds a tiny element of slapstick with goofy expressions and bumbling gestures. In its exploration of the theme of little things eliciting big changes, Ten Old Men and a Mouse teaches a gentle lesson about compassion, friendship, and the passing stages of life… sure to make for many satisfied readers.”
Quill & Quire
Praise for The Fortress of Kaspar Snit:

“…Fagan has a gift for the rhythm of story, and his sly humor is always unexpected and entertaining.”
The Toronto Star

Praise for Daughter of the Great Zandini:

“Fagan proves himself a wonderful writer with a rare comic gift.”
Publishers Weekly

“… a wonderfully whimsical and … heart-warming, story….”
Times-Colonist

Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Ten Old Men and a Mouse

Ten Old Men and a Mouse is an endearing story of a determined mouse looking to make her new home in an old synagogue. Gary Clement’s cleverly drawn, watercolour illustrations give faces to the easily recognized personalities of the ten old men and a mouse with attitude! This attitude causes both mayhem and fun when their membership of ten becomes eleven and the men realize their daily routine is about to change.

A love story charged with the key elements of faith, hope and charity gives the book its appeal to the young audience for whom it is intended, while delighting adults too. The old men share their religious faith and friendship while caring for a mouse they were originally determined to destroy. In an act of charity, the men allow the mouse to stay and are subsequently responsible for her safety and happiness. Their joy at the birth of the mouse’s children is short lived and they must live in the hope that they have made the right decision by moving their mouse family to the country. The ending of the story is another act of faith on the part of the mouse and while young children clap that the adventure has come full circle, older readers are reminded of the circle of life itself.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2007. Vol.30 No.2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Ten Old Men and a Mouse

The synagogue was once a bustling place, but now only 10 men come to tend it and pray daily. Then one day, a little scritchscratch betrays the first new member in years: a tiny mouse who has taken up residence among the holy books.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

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