Doctor Mouse

NorthSouth. Feb. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735844100.
Gr 1-4–In this translated story first published in Switzerland, a quirky mouse doctor sees patients in his cozy barn from sunup to sundown. Those who arrive for the day include a chicken who is frightened of a ghost, a bear who has eaten too much cream cake and is experiencing stomach discomfort, and an owl with vision concerns. After listening carefully to each of their complaints, Dr. Mouse sits back and allows the patients to find cures for one another. Despite his seeming lack of involvement, bear proclaims that he is the “Best doctor in the world” and that “He always knows what to do.” French illustrator Jackowski’s characters appear in mostly the same setting on each page, the homey barn complete with hay bales and mismatched chairs. The anthropomorphized animals are charming and reminiscent of Valeri Gorbachev’s classic forest creatures. The text is a bit stilted and just a touch too long for the intended audience, but the concept and story will appeal to young readers, especially those who enjoy the sweet and whimsical animal tales of A.A. Milne or Toon Tellegen.
VERDICT A humorous, if slightly wordy, addition with engaging artwork and an upbeat message. A suitable read-aloud for groups or individual children in anticipation of a visit to a doctor.

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