An end to the travails of being loved too much is negotiated like peace talks.
Michael and Bo are close friends. Michael is a young boy, and Bo is of the genus lab mouse—all white and pink—on steroids. Bo is hyperactive and a slob and a hog, but he also radiates the ineffable charm of the drunken uncle who puts a lampshade on his head. Like the drunken uncle, a little bit can go a long way, and though Michael loves Bo, he can’t catch a break from him either (even in the de rigueur bathroom moment). Fed up, Michael locks Bo in the house and goes off to play with his friends—all of whom wonder why Bo, their favorite mouse, isn’t in tow. Michaels misses the beast, too, though things have to change. So Michael returns home and draws up a contract stipulating certain behavioral constraints. Michael’s need for personal space is certainly understandable, but to make it a legal issue drains a critical measure of warmth from the relationship. Perhaps it is best to stand back a bit and read the book as a cautionary tale: Friends, like pets (except cats and ball pythons), don’t demand attention so much as they require it. Where the big mouse/big mouth comes into the picture is a mystery, unless it’s just there for the obvious joke. The color and texture of the artwork resembles a piece of cake one might find tucked deep in the freezer.
Oddly sterile for a book that’s all about love. (Picture book. 3-5)