D uke's (Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One ) nimble narrative features plenty of peppy dialogue, yet the true charm of this tale is rooted in her whimsically detailed illustrations, rendered in watercolor, acrylic, pen and gouache. They depict a bustling mouse enclave in an attic, where the diminutive residents make merry use of abandoned items: a dressmaker's dummy is a climbing wall; a Mets baseball cap with the words "Opera House" taped to it sits atop an old-fashioned radio; and tiny cups hang from a tricycle's spokes in a makeshift Ferris wheel. Two mice brothers live in a home consisting of a shoebox flanked by two towers, one fashioned from a "Tinka Toys" box, the other from two "Clay-doh" containers. The former houses the studio of artist Pip; the latter the music room of songwriter and singer Squeak. The bickering brothers keep their distance, Pip complaining that the sound of Squeak's singing hurts his ears and Squeak insisting the smell of Pip's paint makes him cough so much "it was a miracle he could utter a note." Preparing for their annual party, at which Squeak aspires to sing his longest song ever and Pip to display his biggest pictures ever, the overly competitive siblings get into a tussle that suddenly (and rather inexplicably) becomes a jolly free-for-all that leaves their party room in shambles. The two cooperate to clean up the mess and stage their best-ever musical and art performance. As readers happily pore over the art's comical particulars, they will easily grasp the worthwhile message of this buoyant caper. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)[Page 50]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 2 -Two mice brothers have nothing in common except for their mutual dislike. Pip the painter is distracted by Squeak's singing, and Squeak can't stand the smell of his sibling's paints. They live in opposite sides of a large house and avoid crossing paths whenever possible. At their annual party, each brother presents his work to his friends while the other refuses to participate. One year, their efforts to outdo each other culminate in such a disaster that they find themselves working together to recover it. In the process, they reconcile their differences and throw the best party ever. The watercolor illustrations are filled with witty and whimsical details of small mice living among full-size human objects. A tricycle tire becomes a Ferris wheel, and a Chapstick tube is the post at the end of a banister. The writing is clear and clever. "Chairs tipped, pictures flipped, music ripped. 'EEK!' Squeak squawked. 'YEEK!' Pip yipped." The lyricism of the text will make this a satisfying read-aloud, and the clever details in the art make it a satisfying read-alone.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK[Page 90]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.