Carolyn Crimi, , illus. by Marsha Gray Carrington. . Scholastic/Orchard, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-31768-9

Jazzy, deeply tinted gouaches in lavender and lime and big-headed characters with beady little eyes add oomph to this story about letting yourself go. Tessa the mouse loves to dance, but her mother admonishes her to keep quiet, for safety's sake. "Tessa would try to stop with every ounce of her be-boppin', hip-hoppin' heart. But when her toes weren't tip-tapping she felt all wrong." The resident housecat, Oscar, loves to sing, but his owner, Mrs. Timboni, begs him to keep quiet so the neighbors don't complain. "Oscar tried stopping with every ounce of his singsongy humdinger of a heart. But when his tongue wasn't trilling, he felt all wrong." When Tessa and Oscar meet one rainy night, a moment of mutual suspicion quickly gives way to the discovery of their kindred artistry, and pretty soon the entire household is hip-hopping and sing-songing along with the furry duo. Crimi's (Outside, Inside) snappy prose finds its match in Carrington's (I Feel Like a Storm Cloud) funky vignettes and spreads. Oscar, his head and body composed of two furry black-and-white rectangles with a pair of swivel hips that Elvis might envy, is the cat's meow. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)