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by Don Wood & Audrey Wood & illustrated by Don Wood & Audrey Wood

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-439-32092-5
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

The little mouse who didn’t want to share in The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (1984) returns to celebrate Christmas in this delightful sequel from Audrey Wood and Don Wood. They again use the same inventive format of the first-person narrative voice speaking directly to the mouse character, who gazes out boldly at the reader and adjusts his expressions and behavior in an interactive way that draws the reader into the story. At first, Mouse doesn’t want to share any of his stacks of Christmas gifts when reminded of big, hungry Bear who also loves Christmas presents. Several double-paged spreads on the oversized pages show Mouse barring the door, setting tacks around the tree, and chaining the presents together. Comments from the narrative voice cause Mouse to feel empathy for Bear, who is never seen but is presented as terrifying but sad because he never receives any presents of his own. Mouse bravely takes a load of presents to leave for Bear, decorates the Bear’s tree to the strains of “Quick little Mouse. Someone big is waking up. . . .” and in return, receives a huge, wrapped box, leaving it to the reader to speculate what might be inside. Mouse exemplifies the lightning-fast mood changes of a young child, looking straight out at his audience and showing pride, fear, greed, obstinacy, empathy, and awe in turn on his amazingly expressive face. Sharing with others, even when it’s hard, is truly an important lesson, and Mouse’s small heart grows three sizes in this touching tale. (Picture book. 2-7)