cover image ROBERT'S SNOW


Grace Lin, . . Viking, $15.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-05911-9

The mouse character that inspired Lin to create a money-raising campaign for cancer research (see Children's Books, Sept. 27) stars in this tale that opens as Robert and his family prepare for the winter. With the threat of snow approaching, the mice have no time to find an alternative to their home, fashioned from a boot ("a very old boot"). So they batten down the hatches (and tape up the door and windows). Having never experienced snow, Robert begs to go outside, but is met with disapproval. " 'There's nothing to see!' Aunt Vicky scoffed.... 'Small animals like us,' Mum said, 'don't like snow.' " But one evening, Robert wishes on a "particularly bright star"; his window blows open and he slips out into the cold. When the hero loses his way, a large creature with "red fur" and a sack rescues him and deposits him back safely in his room. When spring arrives, the family discovers a surprise, and Robert guesses that the source was the visitor (who will be familiar to readers). Lin's fetching, rotund mice beam with familial closeness and she includes amusing details—the mice use push pins for doorknobs, bottle caps for plates and spools as stools. Snow-loving youngsters should easily identify with Lin's energetic hero. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)