A spunky little mouse befriends a big cat in this European import.
Jenny the mouse has an undeniable zest for life. Even her mother’s stories about a cat named Lorenzo the Red whose favorite meal is “mouse on toast” don’t scare her. Her parents delight in their daughter’s curious nature until it leads her to seek out Lorenzo. They don’t forbid her to go, but her mother warns her to be careful. This permissiveness, along with rhyming, singsong text and lighthearted watercolor illustrations, reassures readers that this won’t be a tragic tale. Other animals do try to warn Jenny as well, but she soldiers on. When she does encounter him, Lorenzo initially lives up to his fearsome reputation and says she’s “the purrrr-fect little sweet.” But instead of being frightened, the intrepid rodent is so excited to see him that she bursts out laughing and sings, jumps and somersaults in her joy. This surprising behavior disarms Lorenzo, and he laughs, too. Throughout, Tharlet’s art outshines the text, which is rather twee in its descriptions of both Jenny’s nature (“she always faced her fears and followed her curiosity”) and her new friendship (“They share dreams of hot chocolate with buttered toast and jam, and skies filled with big colorful balloons”).
An uneven story about an unlikely friendship. (Picture book. 3-5)