Spring fever strikes even the rodents. And who knows where the heart leads?
"Spring is such a funny thing—it wakes up all the plants / And makes our furry woodland friends go cuckoo for romance." Indeed. One day, when Miss Mousie is shopping at the mole's deli, her heart stops at the sight of rakish Matt LaBatt (the water rat), who looks suave (and très Français) in striped shirt and kerchief. She can barely speak...or squeak. "Her little legs went weak." When she drops her hankie to catch his attention, Matt calls her fat, which brings tears to her eyes and sends her to bed for a day. What brings her out of sadness is an anonymous invitation to dinner; of course she knows just who it is! She dresses to the nines, and all the animals applaud her as she walks excitedly to her date. But the would-be suitor is not Matt the water rat; it's the kind mole who owns the deli. He tries all manner of slick techniques to woo her, and they fall comically flat. But in the end, he pledges to be himself if she will do the same. Her reply? "Oui-oui." Beiser's sprightly text has warmth, heart and a valuable lesson. Berman's pictures, in watercolor and gouache on rag, suggest Beatrix Potter, ably matching the crisp elegance of the story.
Wonderful. (Picture book. 5-8)