The Meaning of Mice

Charles van Sandwyk

Illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk

Charles van Sandwyk takes readers on a whimsical journey into another world with the exquisitely illustrated Folio edition of The Meaning of Mice.


Peek into the world of the very charming Painter Mouse and discover artistic pursuits, fine wines, and cosy beds … The Folio Society presents an irresistible new volume from world-renowned illustrator Charles van Sandwyk. The Meaning of Mice is a uniquely tactile treat for book-lovers of all ages: 16 delightfully illustrated pages concertinaed between a handsome binding tell the story of the well-to-do Painter Mouse. The pages are presented against a set of endpapers depicting a pastoral scene reminiscent of van Sandwyk’s work on the enormously popular Folio edition of The Wind in the Willows, while over the page the artist has added eight delightful vignettes exclusively for this very special gift edition. The binding features an elegant inset label, and van Sandwyk’s distinctive calligraphy blocked in gold. A treasure from a golden age, The Meaning of Mice is a gift to be passed down through the generations.

Bound in blocked paper with an inset 4-colour label

20 pages, concertina folded

14 colour illustrations

Printed endpapers

5¾˝ x 4¼˝

Please note this edition is not slipcased

Celebrated among fine-book collectors, Charles van Sandwyk has illustrated some of Folio’s most popular editions, from The Wind in the Willows to Letters from Fairyland. As Charles himself relates: ‘The stories we hear when we are very young – fairy tales, and tales of hidden worlds half a step away from our own – are the stories that stay with us. With The Meaning of Mice I wanted to give the world a new story. One that might make you look at the Painter Mouse a second time and wonder what his day holds.’

The Meaning of Mice
is a tale told in very few words, yet van Sandwyk’s illustrations speak volumes. Every line of ink suggests a wider, more intricate world hiding just under our noses, from the neatly dressed Painter Mouse with his tailcoat and top hat, to the beautifully observed details such as the matchbox that serves as an umbrella stand. Recalling the classic children’s book illustrations of Beatrix Potter, van Sandwyk’s love of the natural world spills over with each stroke of the brush.

Charles van Sandwyk was born in South Africa and raised in Canada; he taught himself calligraphy and intaglio printing as a teenager. His first self-published book appeared when he was just 20, and won a national award. Since then his work has been archived by the National Library of Canada and treasured by private collectors across the world. Van Sandwyk has produced illustrations for the phenomenally successful Folio Society editions of The Blue Fairy Book, The Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland. Folio has also published a series of books written and illustrated by van Sandwyk: How to See Fairies, Mr Rabbit and Other Tails and Letters from Fairyland.


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