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.
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.
“…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….”