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- ISBN-13: 9780375844232
- ISBN-10: 0375844236
- Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
- Publish Date: March 2014
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 4-7
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-01-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Donofrio and McClintock offer a companion to 2007’s Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary that’s every bit as charming as its predecessor. In the human-scale rooms of her midcentury modern home, Maria spends time with her family; in the subfloor, Mouse Mouse lives with her own. Maria and Mouse Mouse keep their friendship hush-hush, for they fear the adults might acquire a cat. Nevertheless, their parallel lives are peaceful, their environments orderly and calm. One night, from her twin bed, Maria calls, “Oh, Mom?” while Mouse Mouse calls, “Oh, Mommy?” from her clothespin bed. Nobody answers. Neither fathers nor siblings seem worried, and an expectant mood prevails. McClintock pictures the cozy, twinned environments in low-lit panels, and her eggshell-white backgrounds and uncluttered pages allow a pleasurable comparison of human and nonhuman habitats (whereas Maria stands on a stool at the kitchen counter, Mouse Mouse’s chairs are jam jars and pill bottles around a plastic berry container). Fans of the original book will revel in the resolution (and the abundance of visual hints), yet the story is no less delightful for newcomers. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Jennie Dunham, Dunham Literary. (Mar.)
Searching high and lowâ€”and everywhere in between
There’s something enchanting and timeless about the art of Barbara McClintock. Where’s Mommy? is a lovely follow-up to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, her previous collaboration with writer Beverly Donofrio. In the first book, Mary formed a friendship with a mouse; now, Mary’s daughter Maria has a secret bond with Mouse Mouse, unbeknownst to their moms. This happy coexistence comes alive in McClintock’s illustrations, brimming with exquisite details and creative parallels between the two worlds. The mouse dwelling brings to mind The Borrowers: A colorful sock becomes a rug; clothespins form a bed frame; and a thimble serves as a teacup.
There’s a crisis at hand, however. Maria’s mother seems to have disappeared, just as Mouse Mouse’s mom is nowhere to be found. Donofrio’s spot-on text moves the story along with increasing urgency, and preschoolers will delight in the frenzied search for these two moms and the reassuring twist at the end. Where’s Mommy? manages to straddle the best of two worlds, serving up a bounty of old-fashioned treats infused with just the right touch of modernity. Here’s hoping this won’t be the last of Mouse Mouse and Maria’s lively adventures.