Monday, June 25, 2012

Picture Book Monday - A review of Seven Little Mice go to the beach

Schools are now closed in Southern Oregon, and children and their families are enjoying the warm summery weather. The ocean here is a little cold for swimming, but there are many lakes and rivers where one can enjoy swimming, picnicking, and playing. Today's picture book perfectly captures the excitement that children feel during those first days of their summer vacation.

Haruo Yamashita
Illustrated by Kazuo Iwamura
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
NorthSouth, 2012, 978-0-7358-4073-7
Tomorrow is the first day of the summer vacation, and the mice septuplets are delighted because they won’t have to go to school. Even better, the children’s father tells them that they are all going to go to the beach on their first day off. What could be more perfect. They will be able to play in the sand, and best of all they will swim in the sea. There is only one problem; none of the mice children know how to swim without some kind of flotation assistance. Father, who knows his children well, tells them that they “need to be safe in the water,” and he makes seven ring life preservers for his children.
   At the beach the next day all goes well. The seven mice children use their flotation rings, and Mother and Father keep an eye on them. Tired after all their exertions, everyone has a nap after lunch, which is when something very unexpected happens.
   In this charming picture book, the author not only tells a great story, but he also highlights the importance of being safe when you are playing in the water. Little children will love to see how the mice children in this story end up saving the day when their father gets into a spot of trouble. The illustrations are packed with clever little details, and children will laugh when they see the expressions on the character’s faces. 

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