Twin siblings Sara and Paul discover a giant mouse named Millie in the fridge in French’s debut picture book.

Sara and Paul are bored with all their favorite games when Sara decides to get a drink. When she returns with a glass of juice, Sara announces that there’s a mouse “as big as a cat” in the fridge. A skeptical Paul investigates and discovers that the remarkable mouse is not only larger than average but is also able to talk. The indignant mouse introduces herself as “a girl named Millie,” adding “Of course I talk! I’m a talking pro! I’m not an ordinary mouse, you know.” Soon, Millie ropes the twins into helping her bake a chicken potpie, using all the available ingredients in the house. These include rice, bananas, peas, a bag of potato chips, chocolate sauce, jam, ham, vinegar, “a nice fat prawn” and vanilla ice cream—but no chicken. The twins question Millie about the missing ingredient, but Millie shrugs off their concerns and confidently plows on. She stirs the strange concoction wildly, leading to a fun, surprise ending. French’s charming tale has an exuberance and wit that should delight any child. The big, brassy, enthusiastic personality of Millie will jump off the page; some readers will take to Millie as a much beloved partner in crime when she urges the twins not to tell their mother about dinner since “she’ll spoil the fun.” French’s simple but enchanting and expressive illustrations display the mischievous Millie in a variety of moods and poses. Lively and active, the drawings depict the entire story for children who can’t read, culminating in a humorous climax. A delightful children’s tale with an engaging, larger-than-life lead character.


Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2011

ISBN: 9780986706615

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Paris Press

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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