cover image Mouse Magic

Mouse Magic

Ellen Stoll Walsh. Harcourt Children's Books, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200326-5

The creator of Mouse Paint and Mouse Count dishes up more concept fun in this picture book about complementary colors. Now that Kit, an androgynous mouse, has mastered primary and secondary colors, a wizard bird wants to teach Kit some color magic. The bird demonstrates that when specific colors--red and green, or blue and orange, for example--are paired in a design pattern, they appear to quiver or move. Young readers may recognize a similar kind of eye trickery from Magic Eye books and posters. An author's note further explains the theory, employing a color wheel. As always, Walsh's crisp-hued, cut-paper compositions seem to pop off the page. Kit's pudgy body and twinkling eyes and Wizard's mottled feathers imply an abundance of personality. Unfortunately, the text is a tad stiff. In her efforts to simplify a somewhat complicated idea, Walsh fails to establish the sharp storytelling rhythm of her best work. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)