cover image Paper Mice

Paper Mice

Megan Wagner Lloyd, illus. by Phoebe Wahl. Simon & Schuster/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8166-3

“With a snip and a clip,/ and a clip and a snip” an elderly woman and a girl craft two paper mice from a security-lined envelope and a sheet of white paper. The mice, christened Ralph and Della, are “placed between the pages/ of two books, pressed flat, and put away.” After the house settles into sleep, the mice awaken from their literary slumber and, each unaware of the other, explore the quiet house, dashing across piano keys, investigating the pantry, and, just like Hunca Munca before them, discovering a perfectly sized dollhouse. It’s only when Della spots Ralph drying himself in front of the fireplace’s embers and saves him from an errant spark that the mice truly begin to enjoy their nocturnal adventures: “Out into the darkness they’d each ventured—alone—/ and found true comfort: a friend.” Wahl creates a comfortably cluttered domicile and a visually engaging nighttime playground in layered illustrations populated with patterned textures and cozy details—clothes dry near the fireplace, and a well-stocked pantry promises fulfillment. Quiet and unpretentious, this simple story of charmed mice offers a sweet depiction of companionship and creature comforts. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. [em](May) [/em]