For ages 4 to 6
Houghton Mifflin, 2012, 978-0-547-68107-8
Mouse and his animal friends are outdoors having a grand time. Frog and Mole are dancing around, Squirrel is playing his nut fiddle, and Badger is juggling some fruit. The only animal who is not enjoying himself is Mouse, who is looking awfully sad and dejected. When they see their little friend’s glum face, the animals try to come up with a plan. Surely there must be something that they can do to make Mouse smile.
One of the birds tries to cheer up mouse by swinging him through the air, and then Frog tries to cheer up the little fellow by taking him to the pond for a “Splash and paddle, wash and wade.” Perhaps Mouse needs to “Leap and lope, hop and jump,” or “Dig and shovel, root and tunnel.” Maybe Mouse just need a meal!
The animals try so hard to cheer up their friend, but nothing works. Nothing they do brings forth even a glimmer or a twitch of a smile.
Most of us have days when we feel glum and when nothing we do seems to cheer us up. On days like these a little support from friends can make all the difference, as it does for the mouse in this story.
With a minimal story and gorgeous and expressive art, Jed Henry explores a problem that will be familiar to many readers, and he gives us a perfect ending that will make readers feel happy through and through.