In this picture book, Capt. Mouse overcomes sailing mishaps to bring her brother a birthday present.
Capt. Mouse, wrapped gift in hand, sets sail on her brother’s birthday in a boat she has made herself from half a walnut shell, a toothpick mast, and a handkerchief sail. Her friends, Frog and Dragonfly, wish her “bon voyage” and tell her to “watch out for big waves and watery perils.” When the wind dies, Capt. Mouse “whistle[s] up a wind”—a lovely nod to an old sailing superstition. But the wind picks up too much, and then it begins to rain, and Capt. Mouse realizes with dismay that she is, indeed, in for big waves and watery perils. Braun’s appealingly simple, uncontrived, adept illustrations often focus tightly on Capt. Mouse, her boat, and their immediate environment—and this framing is necessary to hold the surprise that is revealed at the story’s end. Other pages feature spot illustrations, and these variations keep up visual interest. Themes of kindness, friendship, resourcefulness, and setting and keeping goals are gently delivered by the thoroughly endearing Capt. Mouse as she, in the midst of her perils, gathers her resources, adapts to new situations, and asks for help when she finds she needs it.
A tiny tale with a tiny protagonist that is full of big values. (Picture book. 3-6)