cover image Who Goes There?

Who Goes There?

Karma Wilson, illus. by Anna Currey. S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8002-5

“My nest is warm,” thinks Lewis the mouse, sitting all alone in his furnished tree hole as winter approaches. “My nest is cozy. But something is missing. What could it be?” The answer, most readers will readily guess, is companionship, which materializes in the form of a friendly mouse named Joy at story’s end. It’s a surprisingly slight and familiar tale from Wilson (Bear Says Thanks), built on a rather creaky structure of strange noises—“scritch scratch tap tap tap”—and mistaken perceptions: the sounds that Lewis think are harbingers of a fierce predator are actually Joy building a nest on another side of the tree. Meanwhile, the “bellowing” that Joy believes is an equally “enormous and frightful” creature is just Lewis’s attempt to defend life and limb from imagined dangers. While steady tension pulls the story forward, it’s really more of a showcase for Currey’s (When the World Was Waiting for You) handsome watercolor-and-ink drawings, which portray both actual nature and anthropomorphized animal life in the classic British style. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Oct.)