Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BY WORD OF MOUSE by Kate Spohn


by Kate Spohn & illustrated by Kate Spohn

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-58234-867-7
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Once upon a time, two sisters—artists—lived in a house by some woods. Lucy, a plucky little mouse, has heard Gertrude and Dorothy love animals and tries to move in with them. The sisters take Lucy back to the woods but, undaunted, Lucy moves back in with her family. After an unfortunate incident involving sugar lace cookies, the mice are again removed—only to recruit more friends to join them in the house again. At this point, “the sisters were tired of sending the mice away. Gertrude welcomed them with matchbox beds lined with soft flannel.” And they all lived happily ever after. The bright oil illustrations are as uncomplicated as the text, if not so burdened by lacunae in logic (just why did the sisters reverse their position so quickly?), with bowling-pin shaped mice dancing on stick legs, and round-faced sisters looking on dotingly. An author’s note reveals that the sisters are Dorothy and Gertrude Lathrop and that the author met them before they died—this slight homage is heartfelt, but alas, has no more substance than a sugar lace cookie. (Picture book. 4-8)