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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Parallel Worlds


When Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary was released in 2007, I delighted in the friendship between a young girl named Mary and a mouse living in Mary's house. The title hints at what readers find inside the book: a parallel world of humans and mice, living quite amiably together. Or at least those two members of each species do. Beverly Donofrio's story is charming, and Barbara McClintock's detailed illustrations add tidbits of information and intrigue to the story. Mary and Mouse grow up together, and their children encounter each other, too.

That relationship continues in Where's Mommy? Reminiscent of Mary Norton's The Borrowers in how big characters co-exist with little characters, it is the story of Maria and Mouse Mouse. McClintock's illustrations run horizontally across the pages, showing each character's lives and actions. What Maria does in her world, Mouse Mouse does in miniature. While Maria sits on a stool, Mouse Mouse sits on a tiny jam jar. The combined work of the author and illustrator mesh so beautifully, creating another delightful picture book. Reading aloud both to primary readers in the fall is in my plan.

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