rating: 5 of 5 stars
published: 2002 by Margaret K. McElderry
binding: Hardcover, 40 pages
isbn: 0689831870 (isbn13: 9780689831874)
I bought this wonderful board book for my daughter two Christmas's ago. We still read it. As a matter of fact she's reading it now.
I was reminded of it this afternoon while listening to the wonderful NPR show A Way With Words. One of the hosts mentioned this as one of his favorite books (since he's a new Dad).
It's beautifully illustrated by Jane Chapman and written by the wonderful Karma Wilson. The story is both simple and complex. My daughter appreciates it on a different level now than two years ago, but is still delighted by the witty wordplay and rhymes that lead you into them without force or pretense.
Here's a stanza from page 4.
"An itty-bitty mouse,
creep-crawls in the cave
from the fluff cold snow."
Not only is this rhyming onomatopoeia evocative of what a mouse would really do, she creates a brand new compound verb "creep-crawls". I've even found myself using it from time-to-time. The Chapman's illustration of a tiny, snow dusted mouse entering emerging from a raging snowstorm cave adds to the feeling. (I usually add the sound effect of wind howling, she still likes it!)
If you have or know of a child anywhere from 1 to 8, I'd recommend this short, beautiful, snappy, witty, well illustrated board book.
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