A tiny mouse yearning for an outsize adventure sets out to find the biggest creature in the world.
As she encounters successively
larger animals in the wooded setting, the mouse asks each, “Are you the biggest
creature in the world?” A frog, kingfisher, cat, otter and others all demur,
but each asks to join the search. In addition to woodland and domestic animals,
the entourage stops at the zoo to add a tiger and polar bear. (The bear’s heard
that the biggest “lives in the ocean where the river ends.”) Sure enough, the
pilgrims—arranged in size from small to large, silhouetted against the setting
sun—gaze at a breaching whale, “as big as an island.” As night falls, the
animals head homeward, marveling that they’d “never have seen such a wonderful thing”
without the little mouse. As she curls up to sleep, she too is delighted to
have had such “a very big adventure.”
Patten’s telling, plainspoken if a tad saccharine, suits the tale, and Bayley’s
lovely, realistic colored-pencil compositions, elegantly framing the
well-chosen text type, will attract many families.
The evergreen “dream big” message gets a gracious, nicely designed treatment here. (Picture book. 3-7)