Four seasons, as seen through the eyes of a country mouse.
The book begins in spring. “In the middle of the meadow, under a clump of dandelions, there is a hole.” Out pops “[s]uch a little mouse,” with “ears pink as petals” and a tiny smile. He sees bees on clover blossoms and his own reflection in a puddle. Each season is represented in one exploratory day. In summer, the mouse sees beavers and a porcupine; in autumn, rustling leaves, honking geese and busy ants. When winter arrives, he sees his landscape covered in snow. “Brrrrrrr,” he says, retreating underground to his cozy burrow, which features tunnels and many discrete rooms—a bedroom, a kitchen and a fully stocked larder. All year he’s been storing seeds, watercress and acorns; now he can bake acorn bread and cook seed-and-watercress soup. Preschoolers will recognize the wooden alphabet blocks that form the base of his counter. Seasons and animals aren’t new topics, but Yue’s idyllic meadowscapes are full of clean, fresh air. From full-page to spot illustrations, from the breezy greens, blues and yellows of spring to the rustic browns of underground, her colors glow gently. Her lines have a light touch but feel grounding; fine details, shadings and a real feel for weather make this special. Shelve with Richard Scarry’s I Am a Bunny (1963) and Margaret Wise Brown and Garth Williams’ Little Fur Family (1946).
Perfectly charming. (Picture book. 3-5)