Overall, a warm Christmas story with jolly rhymes and happy times for both the humans and the mice who share this house.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. MOUSE

Mr. and Mrs. Mouse and their 17 children celebrate their first Christmas in their new home under the floorboards of a warm kitchen.

The husband-and-wife creators of the popular Snowmen at Night series move from snowy scenes to a cozy mouse house with a large family of anthropomorphic mice. In rhyming verse, the text describes how Mr. Mouse buys a new home for his family in a safe spot in a big house occupied by a human family getting ready for Christmas. Inspired, Mr. and Mrs. Mouse decide to provide a celebration for their family, too. With tiny items taken from the human home, the mouse parents create a decorated Christmas tree, and Mrs. Mouse sews pajamas for all the children. Santa doesn’t forget the mouse family on Christmas Eve, leaving tiny presents for all. Mark Buehner’s detail-filled paintings are great fun to peruse. Memorable illustrations include a magical scene of the mouse couple hiding in the humans’ Christmas tree and a sweeping view of the reindeer in flight as seen from above. Each illustration also contains three tiny hidden animals (a rabbit, a cat, and a Tyrannosaurus rex), which are often difficult to spot and are unnecessary to the story. A key to these hidden pictures is printed on the inside of the dust jacket.

Overall, a warm Christmas story with jolly rhymes and happy times for both the humans and the mice who share this house. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4010-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cute but not substantive, and the wording may be off-putting.

YOU MAKE ME HAPPY

Fox and Porcupine celebrate the many ways they enjoy each other.

“You make me happy, / like birds taking flight, / like a waterfall twinkling, / like morning’s first light. // The things that you do, and the things that you say, / fill me with sunshine and brighten my day.” Throughout the seasons, readers are treated to a look at all the lovely times the duo have. Even when the text hints that one is feeling down and the other is cheering them on, the acrylic-paint–and–colored-pencil artwork shows both feeling glad, demanding that readers guess which might have been sad. That’s not the only thing readers will have to guess either. It’s unclear whether this relationship is friendly, romantic, or familial; at times the text and illustrations make it seem as though it could be any of these. And the first-person narrator is also never identified. The idea is certainly sweet, the roly-poly pair are delightfully expressive and adorable, and the sentiments expressed are those caregivers appreciate and celebrate in their children. Still, the wording may cause adults to cringe, especially those trained in psychology and like subjects that emphasize that confidence and well-being do not rest on externalities: “You make me happy and hopeful and strong.”

Cute but not substantive, and the wording may be off-putting. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68119-849-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again.

WE'RE GOING ON A GOON HUNT

Hunt for a bear? That’s so yesterday.

On a spooky Halloween night, we’re hunting for…a green GOON. We’re not really scared. Let’s start in a pumpkin patch. We can’t go over or under it, so we’ll just go through it. We’ll do the same in other likely goon hideouts: a swamp, a tunnel, a forest, a graveyard, and, finally, a haunted house. In this atmospheric “petrifying parody” of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a dad and his four kids, dressed in Halloween finery and accompanied by their costumed pup, search for the elusive quarry. They become more frightened (particularly dad and pooch, even from the outset) as they proceed along the increasingly murky path—except for the youngest, unicorn-outfitted child, who squeals a delighted welcome to whatever creature unexpectedly materializes. As in the classic original, evocative sound effects (“Gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss!”) ring out as the quintet moves through each hazard. Unsurprisingly, the group locates the goon, forcing them to retrace their steps home in a frenzied hurry, odd noises and all. They reach safety to discover…uh-oh! Meanwhile, someone’s missing but having a ball! Even readers who’ve never read or heard about the bear expedition will appreciate this clever, comical, fast-paced take. The colorful line illustrations are humorously brooding and sweetly endearing, with the family (all members present White) portrayed as growing steadily apprehensive. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 74.6% of actual size.)

Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984813-62-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more