"A charming tale about the season's comforts and the joy of finding a new friend." October 15, 2005
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Mortimer has company in the cute mouse department as Annamouse and Willamouse each set about making things comfy for the holiday. Annamouse has a fine Christmas tree in her parlor, but no decorations while Willamouse has some paper chains with no tree on which to hang them. Both mice wistfully plan to make do until a snowstorm and a kind twist of fate bring these previously unknown neighbors together on Christmas Eve. The homey appointments of this mouse-centric world and the text's clever coincidences will make readers smile. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Annamouse is getting ready for Christmas, setting up her tree and dreaming of caroling with her friends. Willamouse, whose home fronts the other side of the hayfield, is also getting readymaking paper chains and dreaming of caroling. Alas, the best laid plans of mice often go astraya heavy snow traps both mice in their burrows, Annamouse without decorations for her tree and Willamouse without a tree for her decorations. Annamouse settles in to play some Christmas music on her violin, which Willamouse snuggles up with a good book. Willamouse's reading is interrupted by the sounds of musicalthough their homes open on different sides of the field, their parlors are adjacent. Willamouse digs a passage between the two rooms and a beautiful friendship blossoms. The bright illustrations reinforce the message that the best Christmas is one spent with others you love. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8. Dr. Judy Rowen
Willamouse and Annamouse are two civilized mouse ladies who each live alone in their own well-furnished burrows that, unbeknownst to them, share a common parlor wall. On Christmas Eve they are each snowed in all alone, eating large but lonely holiday dinners. Annamouse has a tree but no decorations; Willamouse has paper chains but no tree. When Annamouse plays "Silent Night" on her violin, Willamouse hears the music, digs through the wall and gleefully meets her neighbor. They combine their decorations and their parlors and then fall asleep on the sofa before Santamouse arrives with their gifts, which include a china tea set for the new friends to share. The story is told in a confident, chatty tone with some charming "as you know" asides to the reader, and the juxtaposition of the two mouse households is smoothly handled so it doesn't become confusing. Roth's paintings employ well-chosen details with a humorous touch: a mouse doll, tiny slippers by the door and a tray of sushi on the holiday dinner table. Since these new friends need a chance to use their new china tea set, Willamouse and Annamouse are, as you know, likely candidates to celebrate other holidays together in further installments. (Picture book. 3-6)