cover image Welcome Home, Mouse

Welcome Home, Mouse

Elisa Kleven, Random/Tricycle, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58246-277-6

Kleven's (A Carousel Tale) gentle story offers a feel-good spin on the tried-and-true theme of unlikely animal friends. Mixed-media collages playfully underscore the difference in size between Stanley, a young and often clumsy elephant, and Mouse, whose pumpkin house Stanley inadvertently demolishes with his ball while playing in the yard. "My cozy house. Smashed to bits and pieces," laments the distraught mouse. Equally dismayed, Stanley offers to make her a "surprise house." On a trip to town with Mouse, the elephant surreptitiously collects an array of items, including a cardboard box, napkins, flowers, and twigs. The recycling bin on his front porch supplies additional building materials for the charming house he assembles for Mouse, complete with a table fashioned from a jar lid, a leaf pillow, a bottle cap plate, and decorative stamps as wall hangings. Sunny, outdoor scenarios and busy indoor scenes provide abundant details to keep readers' interest. And given how many times Stanley is made to feel guilty or embarrassed about his bumbling nature, his triumph feels all the sweeter. Ages 2–5. (Sept.)