Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds

Marianne Dubuc, trans. from the French by Yvette Ghione. Kids Can, $17.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-77138-572-5

In a story that, like Richard Scarry’s work, offers an abundance of curiosity-piquing domestic details to consider, readers follow a small mouse postal carrier making his rounds. A gentle silliness pervades Dubuc’s (The Bus Ride) tidily drafted cartoons, but coy references to fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and animal biology are also apparent. A cutaway view of Mr. Bear’s home reveals a rooftop beehive and a calendar that appears to be counting down until hibernation time. And is that Goldilocks he’s enjoying porridge with? Mr. Snake’s skinny dwelling stretches across five pages, with heat lamps hanging throughout, hinting at his ectothermic nature. (Also, he evidently has swallowed an automobile.) Underground homes belonging to Mrs. Mole, an ant colony, and the Rabbits reveal burrows filled with digging implements, sweet treats, and bunk beds. There’s some understated humor in Dubuc’s captionlike text—“This one is a bit worrying,” she says of the package delivered to a chicken coop (a fox’s snout, feet, and tail poke out from the box)—but it’s the sweetly and smartly imagined details of her animal neighborhood that make the story so delightful. Ages 3–7. (Aug.)
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