FICTION

The Tiny Mouse

illus. by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. 32p. w/CD. Lemniscaat. 2013. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781935954309.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 1—Based on the first children's song written by the Grammy-winning songwriter, this amusing and mildly macabre picture book tells of a bored mouse who decides to go to sea. Unfortunately, he discovers that the ship's captain is a cat and quickly throws himself overboard to avoid becoming his dinner. Making it to dry land, he marries and has dozens of mouslings to whom he tells his adventurous tale, concluding with the moral: "Think before you sail…and always know what's in the bowl before you eat!" The text has a natural cadence that lends itself to either singing or reading aloud. Full-page watercolor illustrations depict the protagonist as a dapper fellow dressed in a white vest, black morning coat, and red shoes. A scene in which he is seasick is particularly amusing as he lists from side to side, and young readers will love the captain's bedside table, which is full of yummy mice tidbits. To maintain the rhyming scheme, the tiny mouse's wife is referred to as a "mouseketeer," which is a tad confusing, both for the nostalgic TV reference and because she's dressed like a musketeer (which makes her gender less obvious), but kids won't mind and it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the book. In fact, the tiny mouse becomes something of a house husband at the end, adding a charming red-and-white checked apron to his look. A CD of Ian performing "The Tiny Mouse" is included. An appealing and amusing picture-book debut from a noteworthy writer.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
In the singer-songwriter's first picture book, a mouse, bored with his life, stows away on a ship and has an encounter that makes him appreciate what he had. The lyrics don't quite work without the accompanying CD--the rhyming text's rhythms can be elusive, and some lines pointlessly repeat--but there's pleasure in Ian's punchy language and the verging-on-surreal illustrations. Sheet music included.

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