cover image Where’s Mommy?

Where’s Mommy?

Beverly Donofrio, illus. by Barbara McClintock. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-84423-2

Donofrio and McClintock offer a companion to 2007’s Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary that’s every bit as charming as its predecessor. In the human-scale rooms of her midcentury modern home, Maria spends time with her family; in the subfloor, Mouse Mouse lives with her own. Maria and Mouse Mouse keep their friendship hush-hush, for they fear the adults might acquire a cat. Nevertheless, their parallel lives are peaceful, their environments orderly and calm. One night, from her twin bed, Maria calls, “Oh, Mom?” while Mouse Mouse calls, “Oh, Mommy?” from her clothespin bed. Nobody answers. Neither fathers nor siblings seem worried, and an expectant mood prevails. McClintock pictures the cozy, twinned environments in low-lit panels, and her eggshell-white backgrounds and uncluttered pages allow a pleasurable comparison of human and nonhuman habitats (whereas Maria stands on a stool at the kitchen counter, Mouse Mouse’s chairs are jam jars and pill bottles around a plastic berry container). Fans of the original book will revel in the resolution (and the abundance of visual hints), yet the story is no less delightful for newcomers. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Jennie Dunham, Dunham Literary. (Mar.)