This tale of Cricket, a fetching little mouse in a turtleneck sweater, maintains the straight-faced, ingenuous tone first struck in last year's The Forgotten Bear--but without the earlier book's preciousness and in the service of a sturdier story. Cricket is looking for a home when he comes across a tiny house (an old dollhouse) in the barn. ""His heart thumped as he pushed the door."" Inside, the place was really a shambles,"" but Cricket works hard making it shipshape. Then begins a pillar-to-post odyssey, with the house (and Cricket in it) carted off to the dump, and from there (because ""Cricket had made it so handsome"") to an antique shop, where a gentleman murmuring ""'X-squeeze-it! Purr-fec-shun' and other such nonsense"" has it crated and shipped. A terrible storm, a shipwreck, a scattered landing on a sandy beach, a freezing, snowy winter--and finally the house is spied by a boy who wants a station house for his train and who, when he discovers a sniffling, sneezing mouse inside, nurses Cricket back to health and makes him his train engineer. Joerns closes the jaunty mouse's cozy adventure on a perfect note, with an out-of-control train ride which ends safely--thanks to the boy's shouted directions--back in front of Cricket's station-house home.