Shrinking Mouse

Pat Hutchins, Author Greenwillow Books $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-13961-2
Hutchins (Rosie's Walk; The Doorbell Rang) explores spatial perspective in this minimal tale. At the beginning, four concerned animals watch Owl recede into the distance as he flies toward a clump of trees. Fox scurries after his winged friend to warn him that he's shrinking, after which Rabbit-and each of the others in turn-departs to warn him to come back ""before he disappears like Owl."" Observant youngsters may be puzzled by this choice of words, since Owl is certainly still visible at this point. Leaving it to her readers to figure out the animals' ""shrinking"" (and the apparent enlargement of their home turf as they head back), the author concludes with the reassuring if obvious point that Owl, standing among his friends, is ""the right size."" Every gouache illustration reuses the same washed-out landscape, presumably to focus attention on the animals. But the stiff animals, with pudgy upholstered-looking bodies and glazed round eyes, are not particularly entertaining, and the resulting art is plain and monotonous. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 26 pages - 978-0-688-13962-9
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