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Three By the Sea

by Mini Grey

Published by U.S. edition: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-375-86784-2

Ages 4-9

“On a pebbly stretch of shore in a beach hut by the sea, there lived a black cat, a white dog, and a little gray mouse.” Dog gardens, Cat cleans, and Mouse cooks in their harmonious household. Then a dapperly dressed Stranger—a fox from the Winds of Change Trading Company—arrives and slyly turns their lives upside down. He pulls Mouse aside and points out Dog’s questionable gardening skills. He pulls Dog aside and points out Cat asleep on the job. And he pulls Cat aside to query Mouse’s culinary repertoire. The next meal turns into a riotous squabble among the three. Late that evening Mouse silently slips away, “planning to travel to somewhere where his cooking was appreciated.” Friendship proves stronger than strife in this tale that takes a turn involving peril at sea and a dramatic water rescue. In the aftermath, the three decide the Stranger has outworn his welcome only to discover he’s already gone. But the seeds of change have been left behind and refreshing new routines are born. Mini Grey’s clever, captivating story offers myriad humorous details in the perfectly paired art and narrative. And the ambiguity about the fox’s nature and intent will give readers and listeners plenty to discuss. Highly Commended, 2012 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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