Is it possible for a mouse and the letter M to become friends?
The cover of the adorable mouse holding a cherry and sporting a plaid bow tie will be irresistible to youngsters. Mouse is enjoying his cherry when a large letter M with eyes and a mouth asks for a bite. Mouse reluctantly allows one bite. But, pronouncing it “Marvelous,” M wants more and eats it all. In return, M offers Mouse a nibble of itself. Mouse “Munches” and “Nibbles” M’s legs off until nothing is left of M but a Z. Feeling full, Mouse “Nods” off until a bolt of “Lightning” wakes the rodent up and transforms the Z into a L. But the former M is now “Lopsided” from all the chewing, so Mouse takes M’s broken pieces and puts it back together, making it “Magnificent” and “Magical” once again (though not without a few false starts that has it cycling through a few other letters). The truism of the story is that there is no Mouse without an M. The digital illustrations have the flair and charm of animation cels, and they rescue the oddball story. The well-crafted page design keeps readers guessing at what will happen next. Kids won’t care or notice that in this vignette Mouse interacts with only some alphabet letters: M, N, Z, L, R, C, U, H. Instead, they will be enamored by the appealing artwork.
This is less of an abecedary and more of an art lesson exploring the changing of shapes piece by piece. Give it an M for Mercurial. (Picture book. 5-8)