Two mice cut from paper come to life and explore a house at night.
Using scissors and a “swirl” of paint, a white-haired woman creates two paper mice for a small child who sits beside her. One, Della, is cut from the cross-hatched inside of a security envelope and the other, Ralph, from a sheet of white paper. Tucked into two different books, they don’t stay put long. When night falls, the two mice begin to roam. Playful language with a cheery rhythm describes their adventures and occasionally reveals their thoughts. Della is delighted to discover a dollhouse (and clothes). Ralph explores the kitchen and sets his sights on a loaf of bread. Once the two mice meet, their enjoyment multiplies. The illustrations are dark, befitting the nighttime setting. Created with both physical (watercolor and cut paper) and digital media, the repeating elements, worn-looking textures, and a limited palette of mostly reds, blues, and purples combine to resemble traditional block printing. There are plenty of details to pore over as the mice explore. Humorous touches include a face-to-face meeting between Della and a rubber duck and a “Cap Caraway” album cover, among others. Like the house pictured, some aspects may seem old-fashioned to young listeners, but grandparents, if not parents, will be charmed. Woman and child present white.
While this low-key adventure can feel a bit long, for some families it may wind up being a favorite—and even inspire some artwork of their own. (Picture book. 5-8)