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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Snow Day for Mouse, written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son. 2012. $19.95 ages 3 and up

"THUMP! Mouse landed in a snowdrift. When he climbed out, what a sight met his eyes: Heaps of snow like mounds of mashed potatoes! Flakes of snow like powdered sugar! The chilly birds fluffed up their feathers and chirped."

Can this really be Mouse's fourth venture?  He's been in a haunted house, shared a Thanksgiving meal, and enjoyed a Mexican festival. So, I guess it is the fourth time we have come in contact with the winsome little charmer. On a chilly winter morning he peeks outside to see a land covered in snow and some of his pals shivering and shaking with cold. Not to worry, Mouse. You are safe inside.

The weather results in a 'snow day' for the children of the house, and a great deal of activity:

"They mixed and baked and frosted and decorated. Then the kids bundled up in their snowsuits and raced outside."

Mouse seizes on a chance for a treat when a gumdrop rolls across the floor. In his excitement, he forgets to scour the environs for his enemy, the Cat! Just as he is about to pounce, Dad stomps snow off his boots to Mom's consternation. In a fit of pique, she sweeps the cat, the gumdrop and Mouse out into the snow!

His sense of adventure has his looking for every opportunity to partake of the joys of the wintry blast: ice sliding, leaf sledding and a narrow escape from his nemesis...thanks to some helpful birds. Then, it's time to take the ritual of snowballs and snowmen to a higher level. The cold is ignored until the tummy rumbles and the children are called inside. Now, warm, cozy and filled with dropped crumbs, Mouse has time to think about his friends. He takes care of them, as they have taken care of him.

Once again, Jeffrey Ebbeler has created a comedic world for readers. You can't get past the title page without a laugh...take my word for it! He fills spreads with bright acrylic illustrations that are filled with humorous detail, wonderful characters and plenty of action. The cookies are cool, the rooftop snow sculptures invite storytelling and tiny bespectacled mouse is worthy of our compassion and awe when he creates a menagerie of snow sculptures on a nearby pond. His avian friends are enthralled, and so are we!

Perfect for a family read on your next 'snow day'.

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