MOUSE TAIL MOON by Joanne Ryder

MOUSE TAIL MOON

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This short, thematic poetry collection from Ryder (Big Bear Ball, p. 666, etc.) focuses on one night in the life of a common field mouse, though this mouse is an uncommonly accomplished rodent who writes first-person narrative poems describing a mouse’s world. In 18 rhyming selections, the mouse poet examines the metaphor of a “Mouse Tail Moon” (a new moon curved like a tail); a mouse’s defenses, such as smell, camouflage, whiskers, and flight; food and water; parasites (fleas), enemies (an owl and a fox), birth, death, communication, and play. Most of the poems are humorous, such as “Whisker Wise,” about the use of whiskers as a navigational device, while “Brother” deftly shows the sadness of losing an unwary relative to an all-too-wary fox. Kneen (The Snow Bear, 2001, etc.) uses a muted moonlit palette for her charming watercolor illustrations of the mouse narrator, along with friends and foes. Each illustration employs a different size and format, integrated with abundant white space, a large type size, and a delightfully subtle, curving pink line next to the page numbers (representing a tiny mouse tail). The arresting cover shows the title in luminous white letters against a twilight-lavender background, with a vigilant owl, the crescent moon, and the echoing crescent of the mouse narrator’s tail curving out of the illustration’s border. Teachers in the early elementary grades will find this book useful both as poetry and as literature that effectively integrates interesting factual information. (Poetry. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8050-6404-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2002




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