cover image Mouse in Love

Mouse in Love

Robert Kraus. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-30297-2

This fetching tale of mouse romance appealingly builds on the chronicles begun in Whose Mouse Are You? As the book opens, the mouse hero is playing ""she loves me, she loves me not."" Then, in the format familiar to series fans, an unseen interlocutor asks, ""Why so dreamy, little mouse?"" ""I'm in love!"" he replies. As this Q&A session continues, the mouse describes how he will ""search on land, sea, and air"" to find the ""mouse of my dreams."" If the book offered nothing but these romantic flourishes, the conceit would wear thin quickly. The charm comes when Kraus throws cold water on the mouse's musings: ""Aren't you tired?"" he is asked. ""I'm pooped!"" he admits, suddenly realizing he'd better scurry home for supper. The endearingly sketchy mouse and his ""mousie fair"" inhabit brilliantly blended multicolor backdrops, occasionally traveling into elaborate building-block palaces or labyrinthine train tracks; despite the use of busy patterns, Aruego and Dewey maintain a look of overall simplicity. They, like Kraus, know how to pack a wide range of experience into a child-size universe. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)