A Most Mysterious Mouse

Giovanna Zoboli, trans. from the Italian by Anthony Shugaar, illus. by Lisa D’Andrea. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59270-213-8
Wiry, wide-eyed, and restless, a grey tabby cat has “a head full of mice,” writes debut author (and noted Italian publisher) Zoboli. “They’re relying on me, you know,” he tells his feline friends, who find him both admirable and inscrutable, and urge him to come fishing or snail hunting. Even as the tabby can see every permutation of mice in his mind’s eye (including 144 “zooming along on a triple-decker bus”), there’s one that eludes his imagination—until that very mouse shows up at his front door. The two instantly become great friends (in one of a series of wordless vignettes, they even soak in a tub together—a very Continental mix of sweet and sensual). And when the mouse departs as mysteriously as he arrived, the cat’s fever is broken. He’s ready to be in the world: “He even went out with his friend who was crazy about flea markets, though all of those old things bored him to tears.” Touching on themes of solitude, creativity, and obsession, it’s a story that’s alternately elusive and philosophical, thanks to Shugaar’s mischievous translation and D’Andrea’s sly, sleek, and sumptuous drawings. Ages 3–9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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