This famous Russian wordless picturebook is one of the oldest picturebooks in the selection, as it was published at the end of the twentieth century. It has been re-published many times since in many different countries: sometimes with words, and sometimes without. The visual narrative begins with a deceptively innocent premise: the disagreement between some frogs and mice develops into a violent, miserable war between two sides. The word of the title of the picturebook provides an obvious cue for discussion as the visual narrative progresses; as the sequence unfolds, the moral of the purposelessness of war and bloodshed becomes clearer and clearer to attentive readers. Although it will need to be handled carefully in a classroom context, this picturebook shows the power of the wordless form at its best, highlighting the power of dialogue created through the silence of a visual narrative.
Contains scenes of warfare.