cover image The Very Noisy Night

The Very Noisy Night

Diana Hendry. Dutton Books, $15.99 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46261-3

British partners Hendry (Dog Donovan) and Chapman (Dora's Eggs) present a sprightly version of a familiar bedtime scenario. When Little Mouse hears an ominous ""huffing and puffing"" outside the house, Big Mouse says that it's only the wind. Then Little Mouse imagines a ghost when he hears an owl, and he envisions a burglar when a branch taps on the window. Each time Little Mouse begs to come into Big Mouse's bed, but Big Mouse dreads the little one's wriggles and cold feet. He finally relents when Little Mouse simply admits, ""I'm lonely."" Hendry's engaging characters and sound effects make the book a lively read-aloud, while Chapman's bright illustrations are filled with cunning mousey details. A birthday candle atop a wooden spool serves as Little Mouse's bedside table, and his headboard is a playing card; Big Mouse pins a paper clip to his own nose to stop his snoring. From the cheery patchwork endpapers to the familiar expressions on Little Mouse's face, children will respond to the quiet comfort offered by this story of a very noisy night. Ages 3-7. (Nov.)