I Am the Mountain Mouse

illus. by Gianna Marino. 40p. Viking. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780451469557.
PreS-Gr 2—Everybody knows somebody like the Mountain Mouse. Ambitious, self-centered, and oblivious, he wreaks havoc on the lives of his mouse friends in the name of adventure. Arranged in comic book-style vignettes called "stories," with dialogue set into speech bubbles, the narrative begins with a contested piece of cheese that the Mountain Mouse claims because he is bigger and can climb higher than the others. It continues as he clambers up the leg and onto the hump of a camel, asking the large creature, "What are YOU doing on MY mountain?" In each of the little chapters, the four mice friends find themselves in a pickle because of the actions of the Mountain Mouse. Sleep in a raptor's nest right when the egg hatches? No problem! Dive into the cat's water dish as soon as the cat arrives? Why not? Telling drawings of the Mountain Mouse sleeping on, landing on, and otherwise abusing the other mice will have readers wondering why the rodents remain friends. Marino does a nice job of illustrating the group's antics and expressions in gouache and pencil on paper. There is no resolution to the ongoing drama, but children will enjoy predicting what that narcissistic mouse will be doing next.
VERDICT A wonderful storytime read. Pair it with Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

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