Age Range: 2 - 5
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Thompson and Erdogan (Mouse's First Halloween, 2000, etc.) pair up yet again for a delightful dose of holiday cheer. This time, little Mouse trails big sister Minka as she sneaks about the house collecting ingredients for a special surprise. Throughout, visual and textual clues combine, allowing children the pleasure of predicting what's to come. "First, Minka creeped high and low / and all around / till she found something / smooth and rosy," reads an opening spread. The words "What could it be?" curl beneath Mouse's loopy tail as she struggles to climb atop the dresser that holds a stubby blue pencil and a sheet of paper. Readers turn the page to see little Mouse hiding behind a now-upright pencil and Minka broadly grinning as she grips the paper in her paws. " 'Red paper!' said Minka. / 'Just what I need.' " The quest continues as Minka collects lace, ribbon, and paste. Then she then puts the pieces together. In the end, Erdogan shows little Mouse peeking through a tangle of red ribbon as Minka adds the finishing touches. The last page shows the entire family together. Minka and little Mouse appear in the foreground holding the Valentine with the words "I love you" written in the center. Erdogan's palette of warm oranges, rich reds, deep violets, and blues conveys the comfort of home. His round-bodied mice are loaded with charm. Perfect for reading and sharing, it's another sweet treat from a talented team. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84724-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster