In Mouse’s third holiday adventure (after Cinco de Mouse-o and One Is a Feast for Mouse), he hitches a ride in a trick-or-treat bag, but gets motion sickness and finds shelter from a storm in a (maybe) haunted house. Ebbeler fills his acrylic spreads with angular, mouse-eye perspectives and whimsical costumes that will tickle readers’ imaginations. Mouse, with his Rachel Maddow–style eyeglasses, striped shirt, and oversize ears, is a charming guide to this richly detailed world. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The delightful anthropomorphic young mouse of previous adventures returns for his own Halloween celebration. When trick-or-treaters ring the bell, Mouse notices that they receive candy. He sneaks into one of their sacks, and ecstatically nibbles away. Gnawing a hole in the paper to see where he is, he notices the decorations and other trick-or-treaters, but not that the candy is leaking from the sack. When he feels sick in the swaying bag, Mouse staggers out into a terrible thunderstorm. He is lost, wet, and cold. He takes shelter in a house with a KEEP OUT! sign. It is spooky and scary inside, but he bravely shouts, "Boo!" In sudden moonlight, he sees he has nothing to fear. He manages to follow the spilled candy back home and use it for his own Halloween party. Naturalistic acrylic paints produce complex double pages with costumed characters and Halloween decorations in an urban night environment. The spooky scenes effectively stimulate emotions; readers will be relieved when that moonlight shines. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When the doorbell rings on Halloween night, Mouse's curiosity is piqued as he sees some costumed kids receiving candy. He jumps into one of the candy-laden trick-or-treat bags and gnaws a small hole so he can see what is happening, but he quickly gets motion sickness and leaves the bag behind. A rainstorm drives him into an abandoned house. At first a little frightened by what he sees, Mouse yells, "Boo!" to show that he's not afraid. Luckily, the moonlight shines into the room and shows that everything making noise or strange shadows is harmless. Remember that hole Mouse gnawed in the bag? Conveniently, pieces of candy were falling out one by one and he is able to follow the trail back to his own hidey-hole. (Hansel and Gretel would be proud.) Ebbeler's acrylic paintings do a wonderful job of conveying the little rodent's emotions throughout the story. The colors help to set the tone, especially in the house, where the illustrations are mostly sepia and black, making it seem just as creepy for children as it is for Mouse until the moonlight shines and the objects are revealed. While a bit predictable, the story does provide an acceptable supplemental Halloween adventure.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN
Those charmed by Mouse's previous adventures inOne is a Feast for Mouse: A Thanksgiving Tale(2009) andCinco de Mouse-O!(2010) should prepare for gasps and giggles as he struggles through a series of (somewhat) unfortunate events.
After peeking from his "hidey-hole," Mouse ventures out to make the most of a trick-or-treater's dropped bag. He crawls into it, finding "more candy than Mouse had ever seen"—but he is whisked off while still inside. After being carried, swinging and swaying, around the neighborhood, the sack is dropped again, and disoriented Mouse finds himself caught in a serious downpour. Seeking shelter, he scampers into an abandoned house. Is it haunted? No, but heislost, far from his home. In a sweet turn, candy literally saves the night. Mouse spies "a cherry lollipop shining in the moonlight," one of many pieces of Halloween loot that make a trail he can follow all the way home. Cox keeps readers turning pages with fast-paced action in her descriptive text. Ebbeler contributes plenty for the eye to feast upon in his bountiful acrylic-on-paper scenes. Readers will delight in the cast of costumed characters populating the pages and get a true feel for Mouse's perspective in both exciting and slightly dire situations.
Consider this a Halloween treat for children ready for longer, more visually complex picture-book fare.(Picture book. 4-7)