A little mouse finds a friend in this rhyming picture book.
Little Mouseling, the youngest of many, is very small, and her many brothers and sisters often just don’t wait for her. When she pops out from under the tree where her family lives, many respond to her plea for someone to “stay by [her] side.” Unfortunately, Toad Flip likes the water (she doesn’t), and Big Squirrel Brown wants to climb (she doesn’t). Her sad tears, however, bring “a tinyful, weenimous, little black vole” to her side. They find much in common and much to share: “all the things / you can do as a two!” Gliori has created a fanciful wood of little animals that sometimes only vaguely resemble their actual counterparts; all have big eyes and lively expressions. She uses curlicues of plants, trees and tails to show movement and pattern—and joy. Mouseling’s ladybug pull-toy is a stroke of brilliance; the little black vole’s scene of singing and dancing, with his mouth open operatically wide and waving two maple helicopters in the air like banners, is another. The text is rhymed, not always felicitously, but the language is pleasing. The penultimate spread of paired-off buddies—rabbits and foxes and owls and insects—is an affectionate paean to BFFs and/or couples.
This sweet celebration of friendship is elevated by its winsome illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)