VIVA, Frank. A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse. illus. by author. 40p. Toon Bks. 2012. RTE $12.95. ISBN 978-1-935179-19-1. LC 2011049499.
PreS-Gr 2–From the endpapers, Mouse asks the timeless question of many young travelers, “Are we there yet?” Inspired by Viva’s experiences traveling to Antarctica aboard a Russian research ship, the oblong picture book offers basic facts about the region (it is cold and penguins live there, for instance), while Mouse tries to figure out when it will finally be time to go home. Viva’s illustrations employ only primary colors, white, black, and gray, but in the best way. Every bit of space is used to tell the story, which is perfectly suited for storytimes, reading aloud, or even reader’s theater. The text is simple enough for fairly new readers to tackle, and interesting. Picture clues are used to help with some of the vocabulary words. This book begs to be shared again and again. Pair it with one of Mo Willems’s “Elephant & Piggie” books (Hyperion) and bring on the giggles. Outstanding.–Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN