The Mouse Tree
Author: Wakiko Satō
Specifications: ISBN  978-4577022504
32 pages
17.8 x 17.8 cm / 7.1 x 7.1 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 4+
Publisher: Froebel-kan
Tokyo, 2001
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Cat catches Mouse and threatens to eat him. Mouse begs for his life, offering to give Cat a seed that will grow into a mouse tree instead. Cat pictures a tree with lots of plump mice hanging from its branches as he plants the seed. “Oh, goody!” he says to himself, and cares for it diligently as he watches it sprout and grow. The tree blossoms, and begins to produce lots of fruit. But then one day there is a fierce windstorm, and all but three of the fruits get blown off the branches. To add insult to injury, a flock of birds comes and their pecking reduces the remaining fruit to just one.

But Cat continues to take good care of the tree, and the last fruit grows bigger and bigger. He delights in the thought that it must be filled with lots of little mice inside. But out of the ripened fruit comes a single monster rat instead. Cat flees toward the horizon with the monster rat chasing after him?as Mouse watches from the sidelines.

The story shows the two animals’ respective struggles for life in a humorous way. Vivid orange highlights lend the black-and-white pencil drawings a feeling of warmth.