Claris: Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris

Hardie Grant Bks. Aug. 2020. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781760504953.
K-Gr 2–Fashionable mouse Claris and her natty cat pal Monsieur return for the fourth installment of this high-fashion picture book series. In this caper, the pair are visiting New York City for the Christmas holidays and, while out shopping alongside the human family they live with, encounter some cold, hungry mice on the street and witness a jewel theft. Claris and Monsieur pursue the dastardly cat burglar through the festive streets of New York City, return the stolen jewel, and ultimately inspire the thief to reform. In the end, they celebrate the holiday with the street mice, bringing them food, clothes, and holiday decorations while opining, “What matters most is not what you can take/ but good times with friends. Oh the memories you’ll make!” Some readers may pause at the way the human child Claris lives with is referred to as a brat, although she lives up to the moniker with her Veruca Salt-like antics. Elegant illustrations are the real star of the story, which is studded with luxury brand names and high-fashion frocks, from Cartier to Louboutin. Using a limited palette of black, white, red, green, and gold, the illustrations are a visual feast for fashionistas young and old.
VERDICT A good-hearted story meets high fashion in the city; purchase where label-friendly readers yearn for brand-name dropping.

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