cover image Mina


Matthew Forsythe. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (68p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8041-3

Reader Mina, who lives “in her own little world,” is largely unbothered by her enthusiastic mouse father’s idiosyncrasies—until, one day, he announces the arrival of a “really big surprise for you.” When he shows her a large, furry pet, declaring it to be a squirrel, skeptical Mina replies, “I don’t think it’s a squirrel,” eyeing the huge black-and-white feline as it levels a stony gaze. “There’s nothing to worry about,” her father insists. Forsythe (Pokko and the Drum) offers evidence that this isn’t the family’s first ill-considered scheme alongside darkly hilarious images of the uneasy trio crammed into a mouse-size dwelling. In one spread, Mina, reading in bed under a floral quilt, glances over her shoulder as the cat looms behind her, eyes narrowed and claws very slightly extended. Soon the situation deteriorates, growing increasingly tense, until unexpected help arrives. Though her father has gotten them into trouble, Mina is forced to confront that idea that his carelessness doesn’t come without sincere affection. Soft, organic forms; fields of glowing color; and shadowy backdrops create a dreamy world in which Forsythe transforms the trying experiences of everyday life into a deliciously suspenseful fantasy—one that may nevertheless prove difficult for sensitive readers intent on familial fairness. Ages 4–8. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Feb.)