Such a Little Mouse

illus. by Stephanie Yue. 32p. Orchard. Mar. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545649292.
PreS-K—A sweet little mouse takes pleasure in each season in this charmingly old-fashioned book. Poetic, repetitive text and deceptively simple-looking pencil and ink sketches show him going through the gentle routines of outdoor exploration and food storage. When winter arrives, he uses his supplies to make a cozy meal and snuggle down for a nap. He lives a relaxed, predator-free life and is slightly anthropomorphic. He lives in a field and carries food in his mouth but furnishes his hole with human cast-offs and cooks acorn bread and seed-and-watercress soup. There is no real point to the story, but it hits the right beats for the ear and the emotions and makes a nice example of the virtue of being contented with one's lot.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Lyrical text follows a young mouse's daily activities in each season, every day following the same formula. In spring, summer, and fall, he explores, greets other creatures, and gathers stores for winter. When he pops out of his hole to find snow, let the cozy indoor winter activities begin! Cutaway art shows the mouse's humble underground abode, furnished with homey details.
A lyrical text follows a fetching young mouse as he goes about his daily activities in each season. Schertle uses repetition to engage her young listeners, with each day following the same formula: "Every morning…one…two…three! He pops out of his hole. Such a little mouse. Off he goes into the wide world." In spring, summer, and fall, he explores, greets and observes other meadow creatures, and gathers stores for the winter. But when, one late-autumn morning, he pops out to find snow, "back he goes, down into his warm hole." Let the cozy indoor winter activities begin! In Yue's illustrations, cutaway art neatly shows the mouse's humble underground abode with its three small chambers -- kitchen, bedroom, and storeroom -- furnished with such items as an alphabet-block table and a potholder bed. Tealights brighten and warm the rooms, while thimbles, bottle caps, and buttons serve as containers and lids. Our little mouse snuggles up in bed with dinner (homemade acorn bread and seed-and-watercress soup) and a book (what looks to be Arnold Lobel's Mouse Tales [rev. 12/72] -- perfect for bedtime), settling in for the winter. (Look for the spot art on the final page, in which the mouse pops out of his hole to see the first green shoots of spring.) Such a little mouse -- and such a satisfying little book for a winter's night. jennifer m. brabander

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