In this tech-savvy parody of the contemporary classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a hyperactive pet mouse named Applesauce goes off the deep end (literally) while mesmerized with his boy’s iPhone.
Like many a harried caregiver, the boy—who’s finalizing preparations for a special outing to the “wild animal amusement park” with Applesauce—gives the persistently pesky mouse his iPhone as a diversion. Big mistake! Applesauce’s glassy-eyed absorption with the device results in utter mayhem. Oblivious to the roller coaster, tempting junk food and exotic animals at the amusement park, the tap-tap-tapping mouse inadvertently frees the animals from their cages and walks off a cliff. Hitching a ride with some conveniently passing porpoises, he winds up on a “distant island.” The boy arrives to rescue Applesauce, and the pair camp overnight. With no outlets or charger for the dead phone, Applesauce undergoes brief but dramatic withdrawal symptoms, which end with a marshmallow roast. “Ann Droyd”—aka David Milgrim—adopts the original text’s conditional, “if / then” formula but doesn’t attempt its exquisitely circular structure. Cartoony illustrations employ flat blues, grays and greens contoured in black, with word bubbles for dialogue. As Applesauce and his boy stargaze, the mouse asks, “By the way, how’d we get here?”
Mildly amusing, but something of a one-trick pony. (Picture book. 4-7)