This is a great example of interactive storytelling. The reader/viewer can influence the flow of the story. Every chapter the viewer is presented with two choices of what the next adventure of Puss will be.
The narrator and Puss himself make comments about your choices which is fun. I enjoyed it, but regret the lake of depth concerning the story.
It uses the same concept as ‘Mats und die Wundersteine’ (Pfister, 1997). I had this book as a child (Appendix C) and what is very special about it, is the choice of two different endings: Das glückliche Ende (the happy ending) and Das traurige Ende (the sad ending).
In this book, a mouse, called Mats, lives happily on an island with all his mouse friends. One day, he discovers a golden stone that produces light and heat. Of course, Mats shows his discovery to all his friends who now want to have their own stone. The eldest of the mice warn them: if you take something from the island, you need to give something in exchange.
This is where the child has to decide if they want to hear/read the happy ending of the sad ending.
If they go for the happy ending, Mats and his friends will make small carved stones that they will offer to the island when they dig out the golden stones. They have a party and everyone is happy.
If he/she goes for the sad ending, the mice won’t listen to the elder one. They will dig out as many stones as they can, being greedy. As they don’t give anything back to the island, she falls apart and crumbles.
Only Mats and the Elder mouse are left. And in a small cave, Mats gives a carved stone to the island while the Elder one complains about how much happiness the stones could have brought them all if only the other mice would have been less greedy.
Visually beautiful, thus book is still one of my inspirations today. All the mice are similar-looking with slightly different hues of grey. As they live on a rocky mountain and are called ‘Felsenmäuser’, the rock mice, it is a natural choice. Mats is the only mouse with a stripped tail which makes him easily recognisable without standing out too much.
Marcus Pfister wrote and illustrated another book starring Mats called “Mats und die Streifmäuse’. It is based on the same concept that the first book. Mats and his friends discover an island with green striped mice living on it. The child will have to decide if they all become friends or enemies.
The reflection of making the ‘right’ choice is the essence of the books concept. The two books are used for teaching children with Asperger about as they are concrete examples of social interactions (La Brie and Wagner Burst. 2011).
On a further research, it would be beneficial to learn how children spontaneously decide which ending they want to hear/read.