Finding an untenanted beachside villa, Mouse moves in and throws a bash. His animal pals all drop by, each with an accoutrement: Owl with a towel, Hare with a chair, Giraffe with a bath. The hoedown is in full swing when Elephant (not an invitee) enters--""with two trunks. He was blowing through one and carrying the other""--home from a long vacation. Cat, ever fast on her feet, neatly turns the misunderstanding to the good, so much so that Mouse is invited to stay after the party: ""I think, little Mouse, perhaps it's true, there's room for us both in this house, don't you?"" warbles Elephant. Durant smoothly moves from the simple rhymes of the first half of the book, as the bestiary gathers for the party, to the more expanded text of the latter half, with its occasional couplets and tight rhythmic style even when not in stanza mode. The text will delight those who are doing their first reading; the watercolors are as quick and bright as the story, with peek-a-boo detailing to keep little ones endlessly poring over the pages. Laced with humor and incident, this tale gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ""party animal.