A small mouse with delusions of grandeur strolls down a vaguely Parisian street with his best friend, Mabel.
He affirms to her that she is his “bestest, bestest friend,” although he cannot think of a single reason why this should be. The mouse is a bit of a Debby Downer. Referred to only in the first person (he even labels his initial appearance “me”), he is so self-centered that he assumes every compliment received by the pair is addressed to him and, conversely, that every insult is directed to Mabel. Thinking that Monsieur Famous French Photographer is calling Mabel a “strange little creature thing,” he refuses a picture. He then gets all huffy at the Señora Prima Ballerina when she improbably tries to recruit Mabel to ballet school (he thinks her rejection of “your friend[’s] scrawny, hairy rodent legs” is directed at Mabel). Even when Mabel tells him that people really “think of me as a strange little creature thing with scrawny, hairy rodent legs,” he refuses to believe it; she must be joking. And that’s it. While the illustrations are attractively done in graceful pencil and watercolor wash, and there is plenty of eye-catching detail, there is too little story, and the book ultimately feels derivative of other classic Francophile picture books.
A pretty package but lacking in substance and storyline. (Picture book. 3-6)