cover image Love, Mouserella

Love, Mouserella

David Ezra Stein. Penguin/Paulsen, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25410-9

When Mouserella's mother suggests that she write a letter to her grandmouse, the result is a diary-style story filled with Mouserella's scrawled crayon drawings and Stein's paintings of Polaroid-style photos that the young mouse has purportedly taken. Mouserella's love of Grandmouse, who lives out in the country, is evident as she describes visiting a museum and a zoo, teaching her ladybug to fetch, and creating a huge (but short-lived) wall of blocks to separate her side of the room from her brother, Ernie's. Mouserella's ebullience comes through on every page: "I don't know what to write," she writes, proceeding to doodle flowers instead. She even includes a small gift (a ketchup packet from the museum cafeteria) with the admonition "P.S. don't squash this letter or you'll break the pack of ketchup." Mouserella's delightfully precocious letter%E2%80%94which unfolds calendar-style, allowing Stein (Interrupting Chicken) to make the most of the faux lined-stationery background%E2%80%94is probably best suited for children with the skills to craft letters of their own. After this exercise in joyful self-expression, they'll certainly want to. Ages 3%E2%80%935. (Sept.)