After counting to 10, Pip the mouse sets out to find his friends—all 100 of them.
The hunt isn’t as exhausting as it might seem, as after the initial teeming crowd scene, Pip’s furry little quarries are evenly grouped in sets of 10 and hidden in 10 locales. Also, systematic searching is a snap, as the double-page–spread cutaway hiding places—ranging from a circus caravan and a spaceship to a “mouse blimp” and a surf shack—are for the most part subdivided into two to four distinct floors and a few moderately furnished rooms with only minimal quantities of distracting bric-a-brac. Just to add dashes of challenge, along with the mouse-spotting game, Vanderheyden invites viewers to find the odd toilet, steam bath, or unspecified number of Martians, birds, or teacups in each scene. At the end, the hide-and-seekers all gather for a celebratory round of ice cream and cotton candy: “Shall we play again? Who wants to count to ten?” A rug-strewn “Casbah” with cobras in baskets and a “mouse igloo” with some scattered penguin neighbors are regrettably exoticized elements. Low contrast between black type and saturated blue backgrounds may challenge some readers.
Fuzzy fare for budding puzzle lovers who aren’t quite up to finding Waldo or tracing Roxie Munro’s Mazescapes (2001). (Picture book. 3-5)