First published in Japan in 1983, this picture book featuring a family of mice who behave like the people in any urban society is truly international in appeal. Mama, Daddy, and seven little mice celebrate the first day of school vacation by taking the train to the beach, where Daddy makes sure they're all safe by dealing out tubes as life preservers. But after lunch, Daddy falls asleep on a rock and is captured by the incoming tide; and since he can't swim, it's the children's turn to rescue him--and it's Mama who points out that it will take more than one tube to support him and directs the construction of a raft. Narrated simply and directly, this perfect family outing is illustrated in soft colors that evoke the busy, happy beach and Serene sea. Only a few entrancing details betray the Japanese origin--little shoes neatly lined up beyond the borders of the beach blanket (no sand in this picnic!), the format of a newspaper. A welcome addition to collections for young children.