cover image Such a Little Mouse

Such a Little Mouse

Alice Schertle, illus. by Stephanie Yue. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-64929-2

Yes, Schertle and Yue’s hero is cute as can be, “with his smart gray coat, with his ears pink as petals, with three twitchety whiskers on each side of his nose.” But he’s also self-reliant, self-directed, and very much at home in the world—in other words, what readers in the target audience aspire to be. The story follows the mouse through spring, summer, and autumn as he emerges from his wonderfully snug underground home to gather food for his winter larder. Neither obsessive nor a procrastinator, the mouse knows he can get the job done and still have time to kibitz with neighbors (he contributes a twig to a beaver’s dam) and savor the scenery (including his own handsome reflection in a puddle). Yue (the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series) channels her customary jaunty energy into a more old-school drawing style, delivering nature scenes that are warm but not treacly, while Schertle’s gentle prose (“Such a little mouse. Off he goes into the wide world”) has just enough repetition to provide a comforting structure and a cozy lilt. Ages 3–6. Illustrator’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Mar.)