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by Graeme Base illustrated by Graeme Base

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0463-5
Publisher: Abrams

A magical mouse helps young Jim save the family farm.

It's harvest time on the wheat farm, and Jim's mother gently explains to him that he can't keep the white mouse he's found because it could attract others. The risk to the harvest is too great. Jim walks far from the farmhouse to let little Pipsqueak go. The next day in the field, Jim encounters a strange man wearing a jaunty hat who predicts that the wind will bring good fortune—but on the radio that night there's news of a swarm of destructive locusts heading in their direction. Later, Jim gets a surprise: Pipsqueak has found his way back, and he has brought something special. Under the bed, Jim finds a herd of tiny elephants. He tries to keep them a secret, but one night they escape and wreak all kinds of lovingly illustrated havoc. At the very moment Jim's mother notes the damage and figures they have a mouse problem, the locusts attack! Not to worry: The tiny and suddenly winged elephants drive the deadly locusts away and bring in the harvest to boot..."two ears at a time." The minimal text wisely recedes for Base's gorgeous paintings, and the story's very implausibility is a large part of the delight.

An offbeat and winning mix of earthiness and enchantment. (Picture book. 4-7)