Twice Mice

Wendy Smith, Author Carolrhoda Books $15.95 (26p) ISBN 978-0-87614-371-1
A mouse named Thelonius is so excited by the news that he is about to become a brother that he sits down to knit. He only has enough yarn for one ``jumper'' (a sweater, to American readers) but his spirits cannot be dampened, not even when he is amidst the noise of his cousin's 25 siblings. Then the small pink beings that are his twin sisters arrive at home, and a gloom descends on Thelonius. They don't seem to like him, and his parents are so busy that he feels lonelier than when he was an only child. Thelonius's attitude changes, though, when he is given the task of finding names for his sisters, and when he sees that they are not so pink and bald after all. Although the sentiments in Smith's tale are sincere, her plotting takes some twists that aren't entirely justified by the ending. In the mice's world, there is something odd about having ``just'' two children; this is pointed out but shrugged off. Thelonius's cousin assumes that a bigger family is better and is put in his place for thinking that; yet the real point of the story is Thelonius's own adapting to older brother status. Cute and cartoony, the illustrations restore much of the winsomeness lost in the text. But this is not a partic ularly compelling tale, and there are plenty of other stories about new babies to go around. Ages 4-7. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Children's
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