Here’s hoping this is not Squeak’s only adventure

SQUEAK THE MOUSE LIKES HIS HOUSE

From the I Like To Read series

This simple early reader explores all the things Squeak likes in his house, the kitchen of a (mostly) unsuspecting human family.

Schories’ visual humor makes this slight story of just 18 words into a satisfying and complete adventure. New readers will gain confidence as Squeak navigates his house and words are repeated using the same sentence pattern introduced in the title. The only change is in the article-adjective-noun phrases that provide details of how the mouse uses familiar objects—toys, shoes, the dog’s water bowl, and snacks—provided by the unsuspecting humans who share his house. Bibliophiles will especially appreciate that “Squeak the Mouse likes the good books at his house.” The proximity of the mouse to two young children and a dog, all oblivious to the mouse’s activities, lends an air of daring and suspense to the mouse’s explorations of their shared home. Interjection of the mouse’s “Squeak” as he scurries about the kitchen and the chaos produced when one of the children (both present white) trips and spills her snack of nuts and raisins add both humor and excitement. Picture-book readers will delight in finding the mouse on each spread. Schories’ gentle humor and quick, clever mouse reminiscent of Arnold Lobel’s classic Mouse Tales (1972) should prove equally enduring and effective as both story and reading lesson.

Here’s hoping this is not Squeak’s only adventure . (Early reader/picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3943-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

CARPENTER'S HELPER

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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TURKEY TROUBLE

From the Turkey Trouble series

Turkey’s in the “kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving...and you’re the main course.” Accordingly, Turkey tries on disguise after disguise, from horse to cow to pig to sheep, at each iteration being told that he looks nothing like the animal he’s trying to mimic (which is quite true, as Harper’s quirky watercolors make crystal clear). He desperately squeezes a red rubber glove onto his head to pass as a rooster, only to overhear the farmer suggest a poultry plan B when he’s unable to turn up the turkey. Turkey’s horrified expression as he stands among the peppers and tomatoes—in November? Chalk it up to artistic license—is priceless, but his surroundings give him an idea. Good fun, but it may lead to a vegetarian table or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5529-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

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