cover image Cinnamon's Day Out: A Gerbil Adventure

Cinnamon's Day Out: A Gerbil Adventure

Susan L. Roth. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2322-1

For Cinnamon the gerbil, an expedition outside the terrarium proves as thrilling as a safari. This adventure commences with the breathless reunion of Cinnamon and a companion, Snowball, who embrace in front of an exercise wheel. ""I've been OUT!"" Cinnamon gasps. The relieved rodent explains how, that morning, the ""sky"" (the screen ceiling of the cage) fell, revealing a ""mountain"" (of books). Cinnamon recalls a close call with a ""wolf,"" a ride on a (toy) train and a drink from a ""pond"" that is in fact a dog dish. Roth (My Love for You) shows how the furry fugitive finds a sheltering ""barn""--the pantry--and is rescued by ""the giant,"" represented by a pair of hands. In the whimsical multimedia collages, Cinnamon appears almost life-size. Handmade brown paper with fuzzy filaments serves as the gerbil's coat, corrugated cardboard takes the shape of a cat, patterned wallpapers provide appropriate home-decor backdrops, and a real screen and wood shavings recreate the gerbil's own home. With a gentle sense of humor, Roth convincingly narrates from Cinnamon's point of view, inviting readers to identify with the small creature even as they reappraise the wide world around them. A just-right blend of excitement and stability. Ages 4-7. (June)