cover image Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse

Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse

Jane Godwin, illus. by Blanca Gómez. Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-55381-6

As a “little bitty” suitcase-toting mouse goes on a journey, the reader tags along, engaging in a rhythmic, interactive story. The book calls for engagement on multiple levels: conveying basic concepts of color and counting (“Can you count the petals/ in the garden bed?), building language skills in the rhymes, and playing seek-and-find for the mouse on each spread. Even the travel patch–dotted endpapers spark activity: a note tells readers that they can “match the picture in each patch to its related image in the story.” Zoomy verse paces the journey and often directs questions at the reader (“Pink shoes/ blue shoes/ green shoes/ red./ Shoes go on your feet./ What goes on your head?”). Gómez’s sunny and delicate spreads are the star of the show, encouraging readers to pause on elements such as characters in city windows and bric-a-brac in mouse’s tree house. An appealing, educational mix of stop and go. Ages 3–5. [em](Aug.) [/em]