Children's Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal, December-January 2001 Page Two of Three
If You Take A Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff, Illustrated by Felicia BondHarperCollins, October, 2000.
Picture Book, 29 pages
Amazon.com. | Amazon.co.uk
Formulated on the old saying that some people if given an inch will take a mile, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies is a story that is sure to appeal to the developing sense of humor of a young child. It features repetition which will involve the child in anticipating what will happen next, an important aspect of future reading skills.
The story opens with a little boy who owns a very demanding pet mouse. In this story each wish granted to the mouse is followed by another wish, until eventually the popcorn bought at the movie inspires the mouse to demand that they must now string the popcorn on a Christmas tree. One thing leads to another until the boy and the mouse end up with a snowman, Christmas carols, making ornaments for the tree and finally decorating the tree. Now, when they admire their tree, the mouse notices that they have not put on their popcorn strings! Now the child can predict what will happen next. The repetition that always send children into strings of giggles is here waiting for some lucky child and grownup to enjoy together. All the familiar things of winter such as snowmen, snowball fights played out behind laboriously constructed forts of snow are brought to mind.
The illustrations are simple, yet engaging. Using a strong indigo blue for the boy's jeans, the illustrator pairs it with a bright orange sweater. Red and green are also used to great effect against a largely white background. Since these two colors are opposites on the color wheel, the little figure of the boy makes a very strong impression. The expressions on the face of the whining, nagging mouse are very accurate, as well as being very charming. The boy is drawn with no mouth or a very small mouth which gives him a look of acquiescence, or puzzlement over what his little pet will demand next.
I You Take a Mouse to the Movies is an excellent book to share with a child or a group of children, and it evokes the winter season in the adventures of the boy and his mouse. It also teaches that there is no end to the demands of some people -- or mice. This might provide a lesson for a young child on how grownups sometimes feel when confronted with an endless string of demands. This latest adventure from the talented Laura Numeroff is sure to remain a seasonal favorite.
--Sarah Reaves White
Kitten Stroller BookDK, September 2000.
Board Book, 16 pages
Amazon.com. | Amazon.co.uk
The popular Stroller Books (they attach to a stroller with a strong, elastic cord with snaps) are one of DK's best inventions for the baby-preschool set. The kitten book shows a series of adorable kittens tumbling, playing, hiding, jumping, cuddling, napping and all the other things that kittens love to do. The photographs of the kittens are charming with colored backgrounds and short text which winds its way around the picture. The book itself is in the shape of a kitten's head, and the pages are on thick, board stock which will stand up to a baby's handling. And, of course, this one won't get lost!
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