cover image Adrift


Heidi E.Y. Stemple, illus. by Anastasia Suvorova. Crocodile, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62371-909-8

In a picture book that is more parable than plot-driven, Little Mouse, a big-eared, gray anthropomorphic rodent dressed in a charcoal scarf and goldenrod slicker, feels fearful and alone, lost in a one-person skiff in an angry sea. But as the sun rises, Little Mouse sees another animal captain, then realizes that he’s surrounded by other captains and crews in their own small boats, which transforms his insular feelings and helps him to realize he isn’t facing the storm unaccompanied. Stemple utilizes a solemn, fabulist tone: “Even when it grew dark, the other boats were there—/close enough to feel them near, but not close enough to crash./ Little Mouse didn’t feel alone at all.” Suvorova’s palette evolves to reflect mouse’s mood in atmospheric digital art, which reflects Little Mouse’s gradually lightening mood in multi-textured spreads. Readers will take heart in this tender volume’s message of finding comfort and hope in community. Ages 3–12. (Oct.)