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BIRTHDAY MICE! by Bethany Roberts


by Bethany Roberts & illustrated by Doug Cushman

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-07772-3
Publisher: Clarion

Roberts and Cushman’s (Christmas Mice, not reviewed, etc.) holiday mice return with a bauble for young listeners in celebration of little mouse’s birthday. Little mouse is turning two and his party has a cowboy theme. The festivities are taking place in a forest clearing, spiced up with Cushman’s party-colored artwork, complete with streamers and jumbo balloons and big cupcakes with candles. The action frequently gets out of hand—“Howdy, cowboy! / Whoa! Watch out! / Oh, no! / POP! POP! POP!”—but, all and all, things are very merry. Presents are unwrapped—“Cowboy boots that stomp, stomp, stomp! / The chipmunks bring a rope lasso. / Skunk gives spurs that jingle, jangle. / Perfect for a buckaroo!”—and some rousing square dancing ends with a chipmunk swung into the cake. But the friends make do, even to the point of assigning a squirrel to be the little mouse’s horse. Occasional rhymes and a musical cadence to the text—with its oompah repetition of words—make this a lively performance piece, and the illustrations keep the visual stimulation on par with the words. (Picture book. 3-5)