Murray captures a young girl’s changing moods—from feeling big and bold to little and cuddly—in this playful, empathetic story.
Mommy sometimes calls her daughter little mouse, which amuses the spirited child because her self-perception is that she’s strong as an ox and brave as a lion and that she can howl like a wolf. But when bedtime nears and the sprightly child gets sleepy, she is more than happy to curl up in her mother’s arms and be that little mouse. Friendly animals populate both the pages and the girl’s imagination as the artist implies similes: The protagonist stomps in front of a bear, waddles beside a penguin and trumpets with an elephant. Attractive backgrounds, done in a pleasing pastel palette, showcase Murray’s textile-design training. However, the artist’s digital work, done to look like the gouache illustrations of a bygone era, lack the depth and richness classic illustrators like Richard Scarry, Gyo Fujikawa or Mary Blair offered. As with so much digital art, the computer here produces a certain feeling of sameness in the illustrations (the child’s face is depicted in only profile or full, frontal view, for instance). Despite this, it is a charming bedtime tale, accessible and winsome and a delight for little readers anytime.
Youngsters will clamor for more as they climb into a lap and ask to also be called their mommy’s little mouse. (Picture book. 3-6)