The close friendship of Mouse and Chipmunk is temporarily tested by the appearance of one large, attractive acorn.
Before the title page appears, the two cartoonish, furry mammals are rushing about, playing tag and hide-and-seek against a white page. They have swiftly drawn, similarly sized and shaped bodies, with expressive faces. Both creatures are immediately drawn to what they perceive to be “A big, beautiful Nut.” A conversation—presented in speech balloons of gray for Mouse and ochre for Chipmunk—moves from each politely offering the Nut to the other to Mouse admitting, “Well, I guess I did see it first,” to Chipmunk taking it. Children will relate to Mouse’s feelings of hurt and envy as he watches Chipmunk spend time exclusively with the Nut. Readerly concern is soon replaced by giggles as both animals devise ways to trick each other out of Nut possession. An especially funny spread shows Chipmunk wearing a ridiculous disguise that just barely fools Mouse. The climax is a double-page spread with both creatures glaring at each other, hands on hips, under the huge lettering: “THE NUT IS MINE!” But maybe not. After the Nut is reclaimed by its rightful owner, Mouse and Chipmunk exchange speech-balloon apologies before playing together with a third object, lesson learned.
A winning combination of words and pictures for beginning readers and listeners. (Picture book. 3-5)