A little whimsy, a little darkness, a little music for a song turned into a picture book by veteran singer/songwriter Ian.
The tiny—and quite dapper—mouse of the title lives in a house “full of drafts and doubts, and incredible things.” Incredible things notwithstanding, he is restless and wants to go to sea. He is ill-prepared, however, and gets seasick at once. In his search for a bathroom, he discovers that the captain of the vessel he has stowed away upon is a cat! He, er, high-tails it out of there with help from a flounder, marries his “mouseketeer” and regales his dozens of children with his adventures. The Schuberts’ illustrations are brightly colored and often surreal, from the cat-in-the-box jack-in-the-box to the mer-cat figurehead on the ship’s prow, the mouse-snacks in the captain’s quarters (all with their tails attached—eewww!) to our hero coughing up “seven oysters and a clam.” Both words and music are appended, and a CD is included with three versions: vocal with band (that includes quite a wonderful clarinet), a band-only karaoke version and vocal with guitar. It is a rollicking little number—a little piratical, a little klezmer—and once heard, it is impossible to read the tale without singing it.
A thoroughgoing success from these trans-Atlantic collaborators. (Picture book. 4-8)