A beautifully illustrated, ingenuously childlike story about a baby mouse that is adopted by a single male parent who happens to be a blackbird. After Babette's birth, her mother leaves her in the blackbird's nest while she climbs down to fetch her umbrella. Unfortunately, she is chased by fierce Sly Tom, a cat; she escapes him via a handy balloon, but is borne away. Raised by the delighted blackbird, Babette grows up to tame Sly Tom by sheer bravado. Beautifully designed illustrations capture Paris' elegant Luxembourg Gardens, using its monochromatic, formal expanse as background for the story's delicate action. Though very French, this should appeal to American preschoolers.