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MOUSE WAS MAD by Linda Urban Kirkus Star


by Linda Urban & illustrated by Henry Cole

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-205337-6
Publisher: Harcourt

While never communicating quite what Mouse is mad about at the outset, this charmingly illustrated title takes readers through several possible methods of expressing said anger. Mouse tries to blow off steam by hopping, stomping, screaming and rolling, but in each case, another animal is ready with both a sharp critique and a demonstration of superior skill in the category at hand. Practicing these techniques lands Mouse in increasingly mucky mud puddles. Finally in caked overalls, he is really (times four) mad. “Standing-still mad.” This in-character manifestation fairly bedazzles his associates. “ ‘Impressive,’ said Hare. / ‘What control,’ said Bear. / ‘Are you breathing?’ asked Hedgehog.” Urban unfurls the gentle “be true to yourself” moral perfectly, with plenty of funny dialogue, overplayed reaction and the enduring appeal of the tiny hero. Cole’s terrific watercolors reflect Mouse’s emotional growth in spreads and spots brimming with movement. Who knew standing still could be so dramatic? Well-pitched for preschoolers just learning social skills, this would be equally excellent for family reading, classrooms and storytimes. (Picture book. 3-7)