cover image Miss Mousie’s Blind Date

Miss Mousie’s Blind Date

Tim Beiser, illus. by Rachel Berman. Tundra, $17.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-77049-251-6

Like a bizarre cross between Beatrix Potter and Ugly Betty, this tale of romance from the team behind Bradley McGogg: The Very Fine Frog involves adorably dressed characters and some crass sentiments. Dowdy Miss Mousie is lovestruck when she spies Matt Labatt the rat in the deli, but he’s a cad. “Hey, Mole,” he says to the deli owner after Miss Mousie coyly drops her handkerchief, “tell that fat girl by the door/ to pick her hankie up.” Miss Mousie is devastated, but her hopes spring anew when she receives a mystery invitation. She disguises herself, hoping to appear exotic rather than banal; the mystery date turns out to be the deli-owning mole, who’s as insecure as she is—cue the happily-ever-after theme music. Berman draws Miss Mousie’s long gowns and dainty furnishings with tender care, and Beiser never cheats on rhyme or meter. But the story gets its biggest laughs from making fun of Miss Mousie’s weight and the mole’s poor eyesight—far from a compassionate portrait of disability, it’s an inexplicable lapse in judgment. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)