Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Just about every child can appreciate disorder for disorder's sake, so Riley's (Outside, Inside) wickedly witty tale of a pint-sized hero should elicit plenty of giggles and grins. A brown mouse wakes up with late-night cravings, but he's not content with merely snacking on the sleeping household's larder. He dives into a pile of corn flakes, builds castles out of packed brown sugar and pops the caps off all the condiments. Then, surveying the mess he's made without remorse ("`Who made this awful mess?' asks Mouse. `These people need to clean their house!'"), he washes up in a teacup and goes to bed. The story's snappy couplets demand to be read with relish; as Mouse luxuriates in his teacup bath, the text reads, "Gurgle, bubble, water flows,/ soaks the jam between his toes." The illustrations heighten the drama. By embellishing cut-paper images with sponge applications of deep-toned watercolor, Riley creates pictures with a velvety, almost palpable texturechildren will be tempted to run their fingers over the chubby rodent to feel the nap of his coat. Shifting perspectives in panel vignettes show Mouse struggling to spread peanut butter with a giant knife or dangling from a jar of jam; then Riley pulls back to give the panoramic view of a kitchen in chaos. The use of an almost constant black background underscores the lateness of the hour and the delicious illicitness of Mouse's assault. Children will delight in his narrow escape through a hole in the wall as the family descends the stairs at daybreak. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
When the family goes to bed, little mouse wakes up and is very hungry. He raids the kitchen munching his way from cookies and corn flakes to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He makes a huge mess, cleans himself up, and goes back to bed! Young children will love the simple rhyming text, "Hush, hush, a little mouse is sound asleep inside his house." The artist uses a cut-paper technique with watercolors and sponges to create vibrant collage illustrations. This book is bound to become a classic among the toddler and preschool set+my three year old is already asking me to reread "Mouth Meth."
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
High gloss pages flash with color as this infectious rhyming story rolls along. Collage pictures packed with action augment the simple story line as one hungry mouse rampages through the kitchen leaving havoc in his wake. Finally, after he bathes in a teacup, he sleeps. Delightful and funny escapade.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1--As a little mouse munches his merry way through the kitchen, he leaves the room in shambles. Snap-crackling, finger-licking fun, with dynamic art that's a feast for the eye. (Nov.)
When a mouse ventures out for a nighttime snack, he turns the kitchen into a midnight mess. He's just waking up, in fact, as the human family toddles off to bed, and the kitchen is his playground. Riley (The 12 Days of Christmas, 1995, etc.) uses bold colors for her cut-paper collages and almost life-size proportions to include readers in the mouse's illicit feast. Cookies, crackers, and cornflakes join olives, peanut butter, and cheese, cascading like a waterfall from the counter to the kitchen floor. When the mouse's pig-out is complete, he cleans himself up using a teacup for a tub. He's ready for bed by morning, just as the family rises to discover the food fiasco he has left behind. A tasty frolic.