A mouse ventures out in search of a new home and finds several abodes from well-known fairy tales aren’t exactly to his liking in this rhyming picture book.
A little gray mouse decides to seek adventure away from his cozy house in the base of a tree one day. And after a festive party, the tiny creature finds himself a victim of housing-structure failure (“The Three Little Pigs”), tower inaccessibility (“Rapunzel”), and overcrowding in the titular footwear in “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.” The little mouse keeps plugging on, his tail following from tale to tale, but the lesson, when his friends pay a visit, is that home is wherever the people you love are. “For as far as you move and wherever you roam / It is family and friends who turn house into home.” The crayon drawings are whimsically Grimm while the text keeps things bright though, at times, a little off tempo. Illustrations throughout keep the mouse at a distance, focusing on the larger scenes instead as each story is referenced. There’s not much to the mouse’s own story, and it feels a bit like box-checking with the fairy tales, but there’s no denying the rodent’s simple lines and chipper adventuring make him an amiable traveling companion.
If the terrain feels overfamiliar, at least it’s traveled through at a brisk pace with a plucky wanderer at its center. (Picture book. 4-8)