Mousequerade Ball: A Counting Tale

illus. by Betsy Lewin. 32p. ebook available. Bloomsbury. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781619634220.
PreS-Gr 1—The mice are preparing for the Mousequerade ball—and this counting book leads up to the big night. From one small mouse lighting the fire in the great room, to five plump mice slicing cheddar to put atop fine bread crumbs, to seven silly jesters practicing their balancing tricks, the stage is set. With nine buccaneers tipping their ornate feathered hats to the splendid ladies, the ball is about to begin, when "ten feathered ladies fan themselves and gasp—/'CAT!'" The action quickly retreats backward from 10 down to one, as the mice scurry and hide themselves from the dapperly dressed feline. It is the final one small mouse who realizes that the cat, in fact, wants to dance: "Mouse does a curtsy; cat makes a bow./They waltz around the floor, and the mice cheer—/WOW!"
VERDICT Lewin's signature watercolor illustrations breathe charm and gaiety into the mischief of mice in this clear-cut counting story. A surefire storytime selection.

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