The five titular nice (and cute-as-a-button) mice vie for a gigantic piece of cheese.
The title page introduces each nice mouse, taking care to note individual quirks: “Whisk has a funny little knot in his tail,” and Nibble “always wears one blue sock.” They are looking at an announcement about an upcoming car race, which is exciting enough, but best of all, the grand prize is a ginormous piece of cheese. First they contribute their ideas to the car’s design, set out to gather scrap materials and then, as a team, assemble their race car. Finally, the race is on, and the mice face stiff competition along with harrowing roadblocks—an inquisitive dog, a bouncing red ball, strutting pigeons and human pedestrians. Clever details abound amid shifting vantage points that are like well-executed camera shots; they alternate views between the mouse-level pictures and aerial views that show the racers’ positions and the surprised looks on the humans’ faces as they react to the sight of mice driving cars. When the five mice’s engine begins to fail and things look bleak, little Nibble brings out a big surprise. The illustrations are richly textured and saturated, the painterly approach both charming and well-suited to the characters and story. There’s also a fun-to-read map showing the race’s winding course.
These winning mice easily take home the trophy. (Picture book. 4-8)