A little mouse perched on a pecan tart and staring out at the reader forms the intriguing cover illustration for this rhyming exploration of a mouse-sized Christmas celebration.
The protagonist mouse wears a tiny red and green crown as he hangs lights and holly, arranges ornaments on the tree and places presents underneath. He helps himself to treats from the Christmas Eve dessert buffet, sings carols with mouse friends by the fire and finally falls asleep in a Christmas stocking awaiting Santa’s arrival. Santa grants the mouse’s Christmas wish (left out for Santa in a tiny red envelope) with a huge wheel of blue cheese all his own. Mortimer’s detailed, polished watercolors are captivating, with tiny surprises, such as the reflection of Santa in a shiny ornament or a gift tag with cat and mouse paw prints to identify recipient and giver. The brief, rhyming text is a touch singsong-y and perhaps a bit too earnest, with a rather limp conclusion of “MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!” However, the short rhymes are also simple enough for very young children to understand.
No new territory here, but a very cute mouse having a very merry Christmas all the same. (Picture book. 2-5)