MOUSE CLEANING

Rose-Marie Provencher, Author, Bernadette Pons Fudym, Illustrator, Bruno Pons, Illustrator , illus. by Bernadette Pons. Holt $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6240-3

Grandma Twilly, a bespectacled woodchuck-like creature, can't rouse herself from her chair when it's time for spring cleaning. "All I want to do is sit and rock," she says, trying to ignore the dust and clutter. Finally galvanized by the arrival of a mouse ("There's a mouse in my house! There's a mouse in my house! And one thing I won't have is a mouse in my house!"), she leaps into action. In successive bouts she attempts to sweep, scrub, tidy and dust the critter out. Each day the elusive mouse finds a new hiding spot, however, which Provencher highlights with a repetitive refrain ("Again, she did not see the mouse, because it was hiding in... the cracker box") that sets the stage for a rollicking read-aloud. A surprise ending finds Grandma Twilly so delighted with her now-spotless surroundings that she sets out a feast for her furry intruder. The mouse has the final word—well, wink—as the book ends with it hiding once again, this time in Grandma Twilly's apron pocket. First-time author Provencher's tale unfolds with generous helpings of bounce and verve, and is well served by French artist Pons's cheery watercolors, played out in a sunny palette splashed with accents of pink. Grandma Twilly and her tiny nemesis are a kick, the one a round bundle of righteous housekeeping indignation, the other clearly enjoying the game of hide-and-squeak. Ages 4-7. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
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