cover image BUSY, BUSY MOUSE


Virginia Kroll, , illus. by Fumi Kosaka. . Viking, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03527-4

A preschool girl wakes and stretches, while a mouse scampers into the hole by her bed—her "day" is just beginning, while the critter's has come to an end. Kroll (Girl, You're Amazing!) drolly examines how these two worlds proceed running counterclockwise to each other. On one left-hand page, Kosaka's (Let's Count the Raindrops) cheery, stylized scene finds the girl and her toddler brother drawing pictures and eating cookies; a cameo-like portrait, opposite, shows mouse dressed in his nightgown and cap, vigorously brushing his teeth. Kroll describes only the human action ("Pictures are scribbled. Cookies are nibbled"), giving readers the opportunity to add their own descriptive language about the mouse's doings. Two double-page spreads mark the center of the book: the family eats dinner, and mouse drops off to sleep. Then, to underscore how the routines are now reversed, the mouse's waking rituals appear on the left-hand side, while the humans, headed for bed, occupy a full-bleed painting on the right (mouse expertly flips pancakes for breakfast, the preschooler brushes her teeth before bed). When mouse finally has the run of the house again, a series of circular paintings spotlight his nocturnal adventures—which Kosaka makes clear are every bit as fun as the children's activities by day. While encouraging plenty of reader interaction, the book may also spark discussion about how different inner clocks tick. Ages 3-6. (May)