cover image Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse

Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse

Caralyn Buehner, illus. by Mark Buehner. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4010-5

The husband-and-wife creators of the Snowmen series touch on both the religious and secular sides of Christmas as a family of mice learns about the holiday festivities unfolding in the human house in which they live. After Mr. Mouse leaves his family’s nook to explore, he “stared in puzzled delight/ as an evergreen tree was brought inside/ and covered with twinkling lights.” Having overheard the Nativity story, as well as details about Santa’s visit, Mr. Mouse tells his family what he has discovered: “All that fussing upstairs is for Christmas,/ and Christmas means joy, and love.” Caralyn Buehner’s verse can be less than precise in its cadence and meter, though Mark Buehner’s paintings are full of fun visual details. Readers are invited to locate a hidden rabbit, cat, and dinosaur in each illustration—a surprisingly challenging task that will likely have frustrated readers looking to the answer key. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)