Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Charlie & Mouse, written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes. Chronicle, Raincoast. 2017. $21.99 ages 6 and up
Short stories are a terrific way for young readers to get to know new characters. They learn much about them as they see the characters in different situations and in the interactions they have with one another as days pass.
In the four linked stories about Charlie and Mouse we also learn about their parents, their friends and the things that make them happy. Rising early in the morning, it takes Charlie some work to wake 'the lump' who shares his bed, and then the two lumps who are his parents. Excitement is palatable as Charlie announces that the day has finally come for the neighborhood party!
Everyone must get up, have breakfast and get going. The family heads off, blanket and cookies along for a ride in the wagon. As they go, they pick up the children of the neighborhood. Only when the entourage finally arrives at the park do they realize they are the only party goers. No matter.
In an attempt to make some money, Charlie comes up with a solution ... they will sell rocks. They have so many. As they haul them to neighbors, they learn that no one wants rocks, they would rather get rid of them. They will even pay to have them removed. It is hard work hauling so many. A stop for ice cream seems like the perfect solution for two tired and hungry workers. The tale comes full circle when they arrive home with their own rocks, and many more - and no money.
The final story has them considering a bedtime snack for today and tomorrow ... and returning to the same bed where they began their adventurous day.
Perfect for reader's theatre or shared reading because of the entertaining dialogue, and accompanied by irresistible detailed artwork, I think this is a winner! I will look forward to another.