An inquisitive field mouse ventures from his nest for the first time and encounters various creatures—big and small, friend and foe—all while learning and teaching readers about the habitat of a meadow.
Wallace uses digital media to create photorealistic spreads for his rhyming adventure. The focus is on one particularly charming mouse whose curiosity leads him to have informative conversations with the likes of a web-spinning spider, an industrious bee, a caterpillar beginning its transformation and a wise box turtle. “The mouse gave his attention to the turtle’s candid words, / Which warned the mouse of hidden snakes and predatory birds. / So far he was fond of all the dwellers in this ’hood, / That is until he came upon a patch of rotting wood….” In dramatic scenes, a sinuous snake and a fearsome owl come close to harming the little rodent. But there are tender, rosy-hued moments in which he shares a furry rabbit’s burrow and wondrous ones in which the mouse first discovers a group of fireflies. Most impressive is the perspective—always from the mouse’s big eyes. As the mouse’s adventures come to a close, the tiny creature meets up with another of his kind who promises friendship and perhaps a bit of romance at the close.
Stiff verse aside, the book has undeniable child appeal. (notes, suggested activities) (Picture book. 5-8)