cover image Fun with Mrs. Thumb

Fun with Mrs. Thumb

Jan Mark. Candlewick Press (MA), $9.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-247-9

This small gem of a picture book is narrated by a mischievous cat looking for fun with the wooden inhabitant of a doll's house. As the book opens Mrs. Thumb sits demurely in her living room, an afternoon of sewing and reading planned. Then a huge, sharply clawed paw crashes through a window and sends her sprawling. The paw pursues the hapless Mrs. Thumb, who descends the stairs head-over-heels and ducks in vain for cover beneath the kitchen table. These antics are recounted with the utmost glee--``Off you go! Bumpety-bumpety-bump. I love this game''--while Mrs. Thumb is illustrated upside down, legs flailing. The jaunty text has a sly sense of humor (``Now someone's come to rescue you. Unfair! Unfair!'') which captures Puss's teasing nature. Exquisite design showcases Bayley's rich, glowing illustrations, which recline in frames while a tiny motif adapted from each painting is reproduced to decorate the text. Minutely detailed artwork captures all the clutter and charm of a doll's house. A delightful book in doll-sized format. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)