When I read a review by a bookshop that The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban was one of the best children’s books ever written I had to order it. Now let me explain. This recommendation was made by John Sandoe (Books) Ltd in London. Authors, literati and booklovers view this London bookshop as a bibliophile’s heaven.
And then I searched and kept seeing more references to this book as being one of the top children’s classics of the twentieth century.
Toys that talk in secret. A quest for a home. Broken and discarded toys. Adventures and narrow-escapes. A power-crazy villain who rules over a motley team of toys. These are themes that turn up in Toy Story, but they first showed up in The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban’s novel was first published in 1967, nearly 30 years before.
In 2001 a new edition was released with incredibly poignant illustrations by Caldecott Medalist winter David Small. This is the book I bought.