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Unruly Records

The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It

The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It

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"In this gloriously unruly feminist fable, The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It explores the power of art-making, the tedium of the domestic, and the dangers of heteronormativity, all within beautiful pictures and tender words. I was enchanted by the pairing of graphic illustration and tight prose on every page. It is luminous and evocative from start to finish." --Alisson Woods, author of Being Lolita

Folklorist Ana Cristina Herreros and visionary illustrator Violeta Lópiz spin a deeply feminist retelling of an old Spanish folktale in The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It. Through rhythmic text, highly conceptual illustrations, and a final visual narrative that is silent but revelatory, this YA picture book builds from deceptive simplicity to an explosive end.

The story begins with a mouse, very neat and hard-working, who makes herself a home. In disbelief that she has a house but isn't a wife, suitors show up uninvited, each asking for her hand. She turns everyone down... until a pack of tiny kittens arrive, and she agrees to marry the smallest and most defenseless of the bunch. But it does every mouse well to remember that a kitten always grows up to be a cat.

Today, the most commonly told version of this popular folktale serves as a warning, scaring girls to choose good men to marry by reminding them that the cat will always devour the mouse. But this story is rooted in the non-normative, non-performative original version, before it became a cautionary tale.

Here, by contrast, the story tells of the pain and harm that come from falling prey to situations beyond one's control. It is also a powerful story of reclaiming one's selfhood.

Author: Ana Cristina Herreros
Publisher: Unruly Records
Published: 06/22/2021
Pages: 108
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.65lbs
Size: 11.30h x 9.70w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9781592703203
Age Range: 14-17

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 05/31/2021
Kirkus Reviews 06/01/2021
School Library Journal 09/03/2021 pg. 1

About the Author

A philologist and folklore specialist, Ana Cristina Herreros combines her work as an editor with her day job as a professional storyteller (under the name Ana Griott) and has performed in libraries, theaters, prisons, cafés, schools, and parks since 1992. With Ediciones Siruela, she has also published Cuentos populares del Mediterráneo, Libro de Monstruos españoles, Libro de Brujas españolas, Geografía mágica y Cuentos populares de la Madre Muerte.

Chloe Garcia Roberts is a poet and translator from the Spanish and Chinese. She is the author of a book of poetry, The Reveal, which was published as part of Noemi Press's Akrilika Series for innovative Latino writing. Her translations include Li Shangyin's Derangements of My Contemporaries: Miscellaneous Notes (New Directions), which was awarded a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, and a collected poems of Li Shangyin published in the New York Review Books / Poets series. Her translations of children's literature include Cao Wenxuan's Feather (Archipelago Books/Elsewhere Editions) which was an USBBY Outstanding International Book for 2019, and Decur's When You Look Up (Enchanted Lion) which was named a Best Children's Book of 2020 by the New York Times. Her essays, poems, and translations have appeared in the publications BOMB, Boston Review, A Public Space, Kenyon Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Gulf Coast among others. She lives outside Boston and works as managing editor of Harvard Review.

Violeta Lópiz is a Spanish illustrator currently living in Peru. She has illustrated numerous books including The Forest (Enchanted Lion Books, 2018), which was selected as a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2018, Amigos do Peito (Bruaa, 2014), and Les poings sur les îles (Editions du Rouergue, 2011), which received the CJ Picture Book Award 2011 in the New Books category. She has participated in exhibitions in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Israel, Turkey, USA, Japan, Korea, and more. El Cultural, the supplement of El Mundo, considers her one of the top ten names of contemporary Spanish illustration. Her work can be found in bookstores, streets, fairs, newspapers, and the thousands of notebooks that she leaves scattered around.

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