cover image My Dog Mouse

My Dog Mouse

Eva Lindström, trans. from the Swedish by Julia Marshall. Gecko Press USA (Lerner, dist.), $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-776571-48-2

Lindström’s story stays light and funny all the way through—then ends with a shaft to the heart. Mouse is a very old dog, and the girl who narrates takes him out. “ ‘Can I take Mouse for a walk?’ I ask, and I’m always allowed.” As they walk, the girl searches for ways to show Mouse tenderness. “Sometimes he looks up at me and... I maybe say something like ‘old man’ in a very nice voice, not my usual one.” Lindström draws childlike figures in pencil, and colors them with gentle shades of warm orange and leaf green. Once they reach the park, the girl opens her knapsack and they have a picnic: “It’s the usual, and Mouse helps himself to mine, too, while I look carefully at a particular cloud.” They make their way back, and the girl hands Mouse over to his owner. The page turns. “I wish Mouse was mine,” the girl says wistfully. It’s a rough moment. Yet readers know that the title tells the truth; the way Mouse looks longingly after the girl on the final page proves it. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)