A mouse encounters spooky shadows on the dark path to Grandma’s house.
“Little Mouse, Little Mouse, it’s getting very late. / You need to get to Grandma’s house—there’s no time to wait!” Big-eared, big-eyed, and fuzzy—but never showing more than minor anxiety—Little Mouse creeps through dark woodsy scenes only faintly illuminated by a rather weak flashlight. Three times along the way threatening shadows create momentary chills, but they dissolve with the lift of side flaps into innocuous—if laboriously contrived—figures: a balletically posed bear picking pears; a long, toothy “jaw” that is actually a row of ants carrying a branch; and finally a wolfish silhouette that the light reveals to be Grandma holding up a tray of cupcakes. Those three, along with an opening portrait of Little Mouse visible through a big hole cut into the cover, are the only special effects, so the showing is as paltry as the scares are manufactured.
Thrill-seeking tots will give this a once-over, but that’s about it. (Pop-up picture book. 3-5)