With the help of woodland creatures, Mother Mouse searches for a name for her new baby that sounds just right.
Boyd’s sweetly illustrated field mice and their forest friends greet Mother Mouse and her new baby with gifts. As each animal and gift arrives, Mother Mouse wonders if the name of the gift might also become a name for baby. After listening all day, she finally settles on a name made up of different words she’s heard throughout. Boyd includes some nice vocabulary (“maidenhair fern,” “milkweed pods”) along with some nice literary touches. Most of the animals’ names are alliterative or rhyming, such as Sadie Snail, Kiki Cat, Merle Squirrel, and even the baby’s ultimate name itself. These are nice additions for younger readers. The illustrations have a lovely, consistent color palette, evoking spring and new life. The daytime images feature a clean, cream-colored background, while the night is a deep blue, making a nice visual to mark the transition. There’s a beautiful two-page spread in which readers meet Moon, who asks about the baby’s name; in response, Mother Mouse says simply, “I’m listening for one.” This lovely moment stands out above the rest, which sometimes feature awkward internal rhymes or rhyming couplets, but only inconsistently. The final page ends the book abruptly, with nothing to signify an end to Mother Mouse’s day or the story itself.
Inconsistent writing combines with sweet illustrations to make this a nice-enough book. (Picture book. 2-5)