In an Alaskan variant of the town mouse/country mouse tale, a wild mousereferred to as Tundra Mousefinds herself in the unfamiliar environment of a human house, where she is welcomed by the resident House Mouse. Busy arranging a nest made from Christmas tinsel stolen from the family's tree, the mice are driven back out onto the tundra by a burst water pipetheir cheek pouches still full of silver threads. Weeks later out on the tundra, the children of the household find a litter of baby mice curled up in a nest made of tinsel. These events are part of a story about "last Christmas" told by a Yup'ik girl, Elena, to her younger sister, Lissie, as they gather berries. The soft colored-pencil illustrations portray the mice and the landscapes with almost botanical precision, and also employ symbols based on traditional Yup'ik "storyknife" drawingsfigures scratched into mud or snow with the tip of a knife as the story proceeds. Younger listeners may need help with Lissie's interruptions story; older ones may want more information on tundra micespecifically, what becomes of the mice when their burrows are invaded or crushed by humans, as they are here.
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