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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Two Mice, written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Thomas Allen & Son, 2015. $15.99 ages 2 and up

"Three boats

Two oars

One rower."

In this tiny book there is great adventure! Two tiny characters hold our attention from start to finish. The text is spare (written in two word phrases), the math pleasing and the end result a book that little ones will hold dear to their hearts as they read (or hear) it again and again.

The mice face a series of problems, and a scary flight in the talons of an eagle before a grand escape that leads them back home ... happy and content with their lot in life. While readers are learning about friendship and numbers, they will also spend time carefully considering the engaging setting. It is in the details of the charming artwork that they will discover more about the actions of the two, where they live and their exploits.

Using pen and ink and watercolors, Sergio Ruzzier assures a place on the Caldecott list this year (well, I think that should happen). His mice are a delight, expressive and funny as they go about their business. I have mentioned to you previously how much I enjoy his artwork, and the little things that he does to make his books so appealing for his readers.

This new book is perfect for sharing with a little one. The spare text encourages them to try reading on their own, once they have heard the tale told on a number of occasions. They will love to see the numbers go up to 3, and then come back down again. A great lesson in number concepts that makes them entertaining and accessible. The book's size is totally in keeping with its adventurous protagonists, and just right for its audience to hold.                                                                  

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