A shop-dwelling mouse tries to find Max the Dog a good home in this charming story about constancy and friendship.
“In a little shop in a little town, lives a little mouse named Tabi.” So begins this sweet tale, in which the industrious and cheerful Tabi cares for the shop he lives in and the toys in it. To all the stuffed animals he gives names, though they leave for new homes almost daily—except for Max, who is always left behind. To make Max more appealing, Tabi dresses the blue-and-white dog in seasonal themes, but Max remains through summer and winter, always by Tabi’s side. Until one night, Max goes missing. Tabi searches the town for his best friend, finally finding Max across the street in his new home, where the two can still visit each other. The illustrations and the content of the text work together beautifully, slowly revealing Tabi’s feelings for Max. Through a small gesture (the way Tabi leans on Max) or a simple statement, it becomes clear how deeply Tabi cares for the dog. Readers will also delight in the mention of chocolates, candies and toys at Tabi’s store, and they will pore over the Art Nouveau–inspired illustrations, full of lovely patterns. Done in what looks like linocut or screen print, they have a strong sense of design and composition.
Warm and endearing, Tabi will enchant readers. (Picture book. 3-5)