cover image Eek! There's a Mouse in the House

Eek! There's a Mouse in the House

Wong Herbert Yee / Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16

In this pandemonious, prepossessing debut, a girl allows a succession of antic animals into the house to chase a lively mouse which is itself dashing after an elusive hunk of Swiss cheese. But the striped cat gets sidetracked by a goldfish, the pig would rather eat cake, and so on, until the house fills with a number of animals embroiled in as many pursuits. The bedeviled narrator calls for reinforcements--from the cow, the horse and finally, the elephant. The rhyming text (``Send in the Hog / to shoo the Dog!'') is whimsical and appropriate; the meter, however, is often slightly off (``The Horse kicked a hole in the wall. / Send in the Elephant to get rid of them ALL!''). Readers can predict which animal will visit next by visual clues skillfully integrated into Lee's deliberately flattened gouaches, which have a two-dimensional quality akin to children's own art. Riotous colors and patterns--yellow-and-purple checkboard tiles, aquamarine living room walls, a flowery red-orange sofa--provide bright backdrops for Lee's rambunctious menagerie. Ages 2-3. (Sept.)