cover image Mousequerade Ball: A Counting Tale

Mousequerade Ball: A Counting Tale

Lori Mortensen, illus. by Betsy Lewin. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-61963-422-0

Mortensen (Chicken Lily) and Lewin (the Click, Clack, Moo series) envision a grand ball in a palace, attended entirely by mice—until a cat shows up. In gently cadenced rhymes, Mortensen counts up to 10: when it’s time for music, “Three fine mice in black-tie suits/ tighten up the strings of their thumb-strum lutes,” and the costumed guests that arrive include seven jesters, eight “grand lords,” and 10 “splendid ladies.” All scurry to hide after the dashingly dressed cat arrives, looking a bit like Puss in Boots, but one mouse wisely realizes he’s there to dance, not dine, and the festivities resume. Lewin’s loose, breezy watercolors tap into the blend of elegance and comedy in this diverting animal fantasy. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Liza Pulitzer Voges, Eden Street Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (May)