What are these helpful mice decorating? That’s the question this board book poses readers.
Each illustration is accompanied by three or four words of text (“First the lights! / Then, the garland!”) with further hints in the snowy scenes. Long focuses on decorations that even young children may notice early on in the seasonal frenzy. Two of the mouse elfs might be male; they have green-and-white stocking caps perched between their ears with matching green-striped tops slightly flared at the bottom. The third mouse elf sports a red-and-white hat and scarf with a green top and longer red skirt and seems to be female. They all have red socks and curly elf feet. Regardless, they throw themselves equally into their tasks, opening boxes labeled “decorations,” hanging lights and garland, juggling ornaments. Not until Page 13 do readers start to wonder what exactly they are decorating. Why do they need snacks and sunglasses or a map, air freshener, and fuzzy dice? The mystery is solved on the next-to-last spread when a Santa polar bear appears in a festively decorated sleigh. Adult readers will appreciate the visual humor: The star perched on a coil is made of cheese; the slogan on the mug proclaims “COCOA is the new COFFEE.” Older toddlers will enjoy the clever mouse antics and surprise ending.
A fresh take on well-worn traditions. (Board book. 2-4)