Quill and Quire

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Big Week for little Mouse

by Eugenie Fernandes, Kim Fernandes, illus.

Here’s another charming offering from the successful mother/daughter team of Eugenie and Kim Fernandes. Little Mouse is busy again, working hard all week long to prepare for her upcoming birthday party. There are invitations to be sent, her teapot house to clean, flowers to pick and – most importantly – a cake to bake and decorate. Little Mouse’s understanding mother helps too, as her daughter scurries to make sure everything is just perfect.

All children enjoy birthday party stories, but this new title also teaches two important concepts – the days of the week and
opposites. Eugenie Fernandes’ rhythmic quatrains capture Little Mouse’s energy as she excitedly gets ready for her big day – “On Monday Mouse does many chores…” then, “On Tuesday she begins to scrub” – with each quatrain describing that day’s activities. Each stanza also contains two pairs of opposites – “Buckets empty, buckets full, Shine and polish, push and pull.” The days of the week are printed in boldface, and the opposites appear in bold and italicized print. In some verses more thoughtful opposites have been chosen, such as sunshine and rain, messy and neat.

Engaging as ever, Kim Fernandes’ trademark three-dimensional Fimo illustrations clearly point out the concepts outlined in the text. In one particularly effective scene, Little Mouse and her mother eat sweet berries and sour lemons, and each wears facial expressions to match the taste. The detail of her work is delightful, right down to the texture of Little Mouse’s teddy bear and the glowing colours of a peacock feather.

Children will enjoy supplying the opposite words as well as building their repertoire of rhymes in this book, which is a super choice for reading aloud. The contrasting fonts will reinforce the concepts for individual readers. Either way, Big Week for Little Mouse manages to entertain and instruct – always a winning combination.