A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse

Overview

Are we there yet?

There’s so much to see at the bottom of the world! Join a young explorer and his best friend, Mouse, on a sea journey to Antarctica, where they make new friends with penguins and a whale — and have all kinds of fun. Young readers won’t stop grinning as they’re swept away by the strange and magical world created by Frank Viva, the bestselling author of Along a Long Road, and they’ll want to start the book again as soon as they ...

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Overview

Are we there yet?

There’s so much to see at the bottom of the world! Join a young explorer and his best friend, Mouse, on a sea journey to Antarctica, where they make new friends with penguins and a whale — and have all kinds of fun. Young readers won’t stop grinning as they’re swept away by the strange and magical world created by Frank Viva, the bestselling author of Along a Long Road, and they’ll want to start the book again as soon as they reach the end!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This charming voyage tale is based on Viva’s (Along a Long Road) real-life Antarctic trip, which explains the otherwise unbelievable image of swimming in warm water at the bottom of the world. The distinctive color palette of slate blue–gray, black, cream, and burnt orange provides an otherworldly but extremely attractive vision. The simple story, full of imagination, is punctuated by Mouse’s lists of things that can’t be done on a boat in choppy waters (including draw!) or what to wear in the cold. Readers’ creativity will be spurred by the recurring list structure, allowing them to envision their own additions. Although drawn in minimal style (evoking Viva’s career as a cover artist, creating single, eye-catching images), with a flat, cut-paper feel to the art, beautiful vistas are conjured, especially of the small boat under an open starry sky. The penguins—four different types—are standouts. Like many children, Mouse spends much of his time wanting to go home, until he leaves, then he wants to go back. Readers will, too, again and again. Ages 4–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Although drawn in minimal style (evoking Viva’s career as a cover artist, creating single, eye-catching images), with a flat, cut-paper feel to the art, beautiful vistas are conjured, especially of the small boat under an open starry sky. The penguins—four different types—are standouts. Like many children, Mouse spends much of his time wanting to go home, until he leaves, then he wants to go back. Readers will, too, again and again.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Every bit of space is used to tell the story, which is perfectly suited for storytimes, reading aloud, or even reader’s theater. The text is simple enough for fairly new readers to tackle, and interesting. Picture clues are used to help with some of the vocabulary words. This book begs to be shared again and again.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Bold colors mixed with minimalist landscapes of glaciers, and ice bergs, against starry skylines, and shimmering expanses of sea make this book a pleasure to look at. And Mouse's worrisome antics keep things lively and fun.
—Apartment Therapy

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
What fun! This is a delightful book to share with younger children. Mouse and a young boy are on a journey to the Antarctica because the boy wants to see the bottom of the world. The mouse does not want to be there and throughout the story he keeps asking "Can we go home now?" They see the waves, the big sky, penguins, whales, and they go swimming. Each time the boy sees something, the mouse either explains what they are seeing or what the new animal does. After every encounter Mouse keeps asking if it is time to go home yet. This book is perfect for introducing reading and comics to both boys and girls. The illustrations add so much to the story and it is a book that will be looked at time after time. It is great for reading aloud and spending time on the illustrations as there is so much to see. At first I thought it might be a beginning search and find, but the pictures are too obvious even for little ones. It is a great way to start building vocabulary words and would be perfect in home and school libraries. This would be a perfect gift for a Pre-K or Kindergartener. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—From the endpapers, Mouse asks the timeless question of many young travelers, "Are we there yet?" Inspired by Viva's experiences traveling to Antarctica aboard a Russian research ship, the oblong picture book offers basic facts about the region (it is cold and penguins live there, for instance), while Mouse tries to figure out when it will finally be time to go home. Viva's illustrations employ only primary colors, white, black, and gray, but in the best way. Every bit of space is used to tell the story, which is perfectly suited for storytimes, reading aloud, or even reader's theater. The text is simple enough for fairly new readers to tackle, and interesting. Picture clues are used to help with some of the vocabulary words. This book begs to be shared again and again. Pair it with one of Mo Willems's "Elephant & Piggie" books (Hyperion) and bring on the giggles. Outstanding.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN
Kirkus Reviews
Strong graphic illustrations give this quick visit to the Antarctic plenty of appeal, though readers may want to strangle one of the visitors. Loosely based on the author's actual voyage, the tour features both large waves and still waters, glimpses of a killer whale and penguins of various identified sorts, and a dip in waters warmed by a half-sunken volcano. It's all in the company of a querulous mouse whose initial "Are we there yet?" and eight-times-repeated "Can we go home now?" inevitably turns to "Can we go back there soon?" by the end. The mouse queries a human traveler who responds to his diminutive companion's importunate comments with uncommon patience. Using a pale palette and varying the sizes of his sequential panels, Viva (Along a Long Road, one of the New York Times 10 Best Illustrated for 2011) shapes his figures simply with minimal detailing. He effectively creates both visual rhythm and a sense of size for landscapes and spaces with looping white masses of shoreline ice that separate flat monochrome skies from, usually, darker waters. The art gives this southerly outing a distinctive look, and the interplay between the two tourists may strike some readers as comical. (Graphic easy reader. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935179191
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Series: Toon Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 324,485
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: BRL (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 6.25 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Viva is an illustrator and designer who lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a cover artist for The New Yorker and sits on two college advisory boards. He is passionate about cooking, eating, and his daily bike ride to the office. His first picture book, Along a Long Road, received wide critical acclaim and was chosen by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 2011. A Trip to The Bottom of the World with Mouse is based on Frank’s experiences aboard a Russian research vessel during a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula.

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