cover image Mice on Ice

Mice on Ice

Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley. Holiday House, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2576-1

The father-daughter duo whose wordplay and bold geometric splashes of color have given a fresh and funny spin to such favorite folktales as Chicken Little and The Red Hen, brings stylistic verve to a second mouse-centric entry in the I Like to Read guided reader series, following The Lion and the Mice. Bundled in bright winter gear, a group of rodents with kaleidoscope-like eyes straps on skates and takes to gliding on the local pond. Soon the curves and loops they’ve etched in the pale blue ice form the outline of a cat that comes to life and joins in the skating. This fantastical turn of events (not to mention lucky, considering the typical cat-mouse relationship) gives a dramatic spark to the clipped text: “What is that?/ That is a cat./ That is a cat with a hat./ The cat with a hat skates with mice on ice./ Nice!” The stocking-capped crew—all with crisp whiskers and unfurling tails—makes for an exuberant tableau against a dark sky dotted with snowflakes in scenes created digitally and with cut paper. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)