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Monday, October 17, 2011

love, Mouserella. Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin. 2011. $18.50 ages 4 and up

"On Monday,
I finished my HUGE
wall of blocks
so Ernie can't
come on my side
of the room.
But he wouldn't
let me borrow his
eraser unless I
knocked it down.
Ernie helped."

I so wish I had been able to attach the cover image in the way it is meant to be will just have to tilt your head sideways for that to happen. It has a very special magic when you open the book vertically, and read Mouserella's letter to her Grandmouse.

Grandmouse has been visiting, but she has returned home and Mouserella wants her to know how much she misses her. At her mom's suggestion, she decides that a letter might be the perfect way to keep in touch, and let her grandmother know what has been happening since her departure. She fills it with photos she has taken with the camera that her grandmother has given her. She also includes her 'daily doings' and personal illustrations that add to the allure of this book.

The letter is everything a letter might be when a young grandchild writes to a grandparent. At first she is not sure what to write, so she draws flowers while she is thinking. Then, she starts...and she shares it all with whimsy and charm. There is some self-editing, child-like crayon drawings with labels, humor and a few 'and that's all that happened' before she moves forward to her next bits of information.

It's newsy, and so much fun! At a time when few people opt for snail mail, this is a great incentive to give it a try. There is much that can be added to the 'real' letter that cannot be a part of email, including a ketchup packet which Grandmouse might not have in the country.

Mouserella, knowing her audience very well, adds the piece de resistance...."Write back. I mouse you." Then, she includes a photo of herself offering a 'smooch' to her beloved grandmother who seems so far away.

Isn't that the perfect way to spend a rainy day?

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