The days are getting shorter and cooler. The trees are bathed in glorious colors. Pumpkins are in the stores and every food item possible. And snow is on its way. As the air gets crisper excitement builds in my house for outdoor ice skating, skiing, and playing in the snow.
So, I was very excited to discover this gem. This sweet, determined, little mouse, whose joy in the frosty air and snow, combines with tender, imaginative illustrations to create one of my all-time favorite winter and friendship picture books.
Author: Annie Silvestro
Illustrator: Teagan White
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books (2017)
Animal, winter, friendship, and adventure.
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble)
This mouse doesn’t want to stay in the house . . . even if it’s cold outside!
For most field mice, winter means burrowing down and snuggling in. But not for Lucy! She loves snow crunching under her paws and wearing a fluffy wool hat. And most of all, Lucy loves to skate, and she’s just ACHING to show off her new skill with her friends. After all, a winter wonderland is twice as nice when you have friends to enjoy it with. But the other mice just don’t understand—and after a disastrous indoor snowball fight, it looks as if they never will. Can Lucy find a way to make the other mice come out and “mice skate” too?
With intricately detailed illustrations as cozy as a fireplace in December (and a cup of cocoa, too), this funny punny warmhearted love song to winter—and to one brave, bold, and generous mouse—will have kids bundling up for some cold-weather fun of their own.
During the cold winter months,
most field mice take cover . . .
. . . tunneling deep underground,
burrowing into farmhouse walls,
nesting in hollow logs.
But not Lucy.
Why I like the book:
The individuality of Lucy, a field mouse who loves winter, is so appealing as she frolics and explores in the snow, as a brave, bold adventurer.
Although Lucy loves catching snowflakes, making snow angels and snow mice (which resemble her friends) it would be more fun with her friends. However, Lucy can't convince her friends, Mona, Millie, or Marcello, to join her. They would rather remain by the fire with warm drinks and cheese. So, she attempts to bring the joy of winter indoors, unsuccessfully.
When Lucy stumbles (or rather slips and slides) upon the ice, she rushes to create skates of pine needles and practices skating until "her tail twirled with joy." Determined to share the fun with her friends, she secretly works in her room. When Lucy shares hats and skates with her friends, they "teetered ...They wobbled. They fell. But with practice, "they discovered winter could actually be "goud-a." Yep, Marcello (and I suspect Annie) loves his cheese puns!
Teagan White sprinkles visual treasures throughout. Such as a clothespin shelf, a pencil step on a ladder, a sardine-tin bed, and pint-sized "recycled" (reused) items that would make the Borrowers proud. The natural tone images, set against cream pages, are so beautiful and layered readers will find something new with each read. The final image is a real treasure, wrapping together winter, friendship, and Spring.
As a writer, I appreciate Annie's masterfully weaving of a story using sparse dialogue, puns, and succinct word choices. Especially her ability to collapse time into nine words. And I marvel at Teagan's creation of so many nuisances and gems in the illustrations. This is a book I will be studying and enjoying for quite awhile.
- complete a mouse snow maze and mitten connect the dots;
- make paper snowflakes and snow cones;
- collect hats and gloves for a shelter; and
- this winter, get outside makes snowballs, snow angels, snow mice (or other favorite).
Be sure to comment here and/or on Monday's interview of Annie SIlvestro to be entered into the drawing for Mice Skating.
This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.