An American Tail: The Storybook (or alternately, "The Illustrated Story"), was the novelization of An American Tail, written by Emily Pearl Kingsley and released in September 1986 to promote the film. The book is fully illustrated by David Kirschner (the creator of An American Tail), Beverly Lazor-Bahr and Christine Finn, and follows the basic plot of the film, with a few minor differences, most notably with extended scenes not included in the final film. A color edition was also released with different illustrations, though the text itself was identical.
To promote An American Tail, short booklets with excerpts from the novelization were given away at McDonald's with children's Happy Meals.
- The book features scenes that were known to have been cut from the film version, such as Fievel being trapped at Moe's Sweatshop for several days and devising a slightly different escape, Tony searching with Fievel for his family around New York for days before meeting Bridget, and Tiger being stuck in a tree when Tony and Bridget meet the Mousekewitz family.
- The book begins with an elderly Fievel telling the story of his trip to America to his great-grandchildren 100 years later, something that was ultimately cut from the film.
- Fievel is stated to be seven years old, while Tanya is eight.
- Fievel is also stated to be eight in the next book An American Tail: Fievel Goes West: The Illustrated Story. There is a glitch in this. In other medias, like the video game based on the Western sequel, the timeline takes place in 1890, which makes him 12 and Tanya 13. On the trading cards, Tanya is stated to be 16. This gain some debate ever since.
- In many of the illustrations the characters are not drawn to scale, such as Gussie Mausheimer standing up to Tiger's shoulder.
The original novel version
The illustration version (pictures in color)
|An American Tail|
|Characters||Papa Mousekewitz • Mama Mousekewitz • Tanya Mousekewitz • Fievel Mousekewitz • Yasha Mousekewitz • Tiger • Henri • Tony Toponi • Bridget • Gussie Mausheimer • Honest John • Warren T. Rat • Digit • Mott Street Maulers • Moe • The Bullying Orphans|
|Locations||Shostka, Russia • Statue of Liberty • New York • Castle Garden • Moe's Sweatshop • Orphan Alley|
|Songs||There Are No Cats In America • Never Say Never • Somewhere Out There • A Duo|