Reviews for Bremen Town Musicians


Kirkus Reviews 1992 April
A Bremen native follows the Grimms in his straightforward, accessible retelling, providing lively watercolor illustrations that depict the characters in an appealing cartoon style and varying multiple vignettes with cinematic double spreads. There are many editions of this popular story, but Wilhelm's visual narration has unusual panache, making it a good choice for collections that can use one more. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1992 February #1
The trademark lighthearted, somewhat cartoony watercolors by Wilhelm, himself a Bremen native, imbues this blithe retelling with a timeless, fairy-tale setting. A better choice for young readers than P. K. Page's version of the story (reviewed below), Wilhelm's ( Tyrone the Horrible ; I'll Always Love You ) book offers a shorter text, at once pithy and descriptive. The child-appealing prose is studded with such distinctive phrases as a depiction of the forlorn cat, whom the donkey and the dog find by the roadside, ``looking as dismal as three wet days.'' When the feisty quartet interrupts a group of robbers in a thatched-roof cottage counting their money as they enjoy a feast, observant readers will notice that these bad guys look quite a bit like the animals' former owners. This is just one of the quixotic twists that make Wilhelm's spirited rendition so refreshing. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1992 April
K-Gr 2-- An insouciant text and vibrant full-color illustrations make this retelling of the Grimm Brothers' classic a rollicking performance. Cat meets donkey in an unforgettable exchange: ``Now then, what is the matter with you, old Whiskerwiper?'' asks the donkey. ``Who can be cheerful when his life is in danger?'' replies the cat. Somehow this menagerie succeeds. Because of the simple language, heavy on dialogue, the book will interest even the most reticent audiences and early readers. Wilhelm's musicians are loopy and lovable. His thieves are greedy and dumb, and best of all, strangely resemble the musicians' former owners. All are irresistibly executed in bright, amusing watercolors, and the whole-page design adds energy to the tale. It's satisfying to the final double-page spread, which shows the animal friends snuggled peaceably by the cottage fire, books at hand. Compared to Josef Palacek's version (Picture Book Studio, 1988) for older audiences, this one is more satisfying, warm, and filled with good humor. --Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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