Big Squeak and Little Squeak, a sort of mouse version of Beavis and Butt-head, are finally overcome by the tedium of watching mouse cartoons on TV and eating cheese curls, and make an excursion to a local cheese shop. The good news: everything inside the shop is free. The bad news: the proprietor is a hungry cat, and he soon has Little Squeak in his clutches. The two save themselves as well as other prisoners of the evil cat, but after beginning with so much promise, the story resolves in a way that feels hasty and perfunctory (the cat rushes out of the store as soon as he hears Big Squeak speak in a scary voice). O'Malley's (Cinder Edna; Rollercoaster) richly textured mixed-media illustrations are a different story, however. Whether depicting Big Squeak and Little Squeak's couch-potato ennui or a raucous celebration of liberated mice, his pictures combine a compelling intensity of composition with a droll wit that both children and adults can appreciate. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
- Judy Silverman
Kraus and O'Malley have teamed up to produce a charming little book. Two mice are tired of eating cheese curls, and go to the neighborhood cheese store. It's run, unfortunately, by a Mr. Kit Kat, who seems very nice, but once mice enter his store they never come out! But Little Squeak manages to get the best of Mr. Kit Kat, who will never bother mice again. Cute and funny, and the illustrations are terrific.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Positive that there is more to life than eating cheese curls and watching cartoons, Big Squeak and Little Squeak set out on an adventure. Looking for a tasty treat, they wander into Mr. Kit Kat's cheese store, where all of the items are free. When Little Squeak is captured by the proprietor, Big Squeak comes up with a plan that saves his friend and releases a crew of captive rodents. Justice is served as Mr. Kit Kat flees from his shop and wanders into Mr. Woof Woof's fish store. Kraus uses simple language to tell this fast-paced tale, peppering the text with flashes of humor. The mice are appealingly gullible and the cat is wonderfully menacing. There are a few good lines, such as the description of a celebration where there was "...a whole lot of squeaking going on." O'Malley's mixed-media illustrations are amusing and action-packed. The drawings are bold and uncluttered and the artist's use of perspective makes the characters' expressive faces pop right off the page. Visual details, such as a mouse-ear TV antenna and endpapers decorated with close-ups of cheese curls and cheese, complete the package. Kids will eat this one up.Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library