Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

by Moritz Petz, Quentin Greban
     
 

Hedgehog has to go away—"for five long days—"and Mouse has to stay at home alone. How they will miss each other! In alternating scenes, Hedgehog and Mouse count down the days, always thinking of their absent friend.

"Five days until I see my mouse. Today I went to the beach where I found a seashell. I'm going to bring it home to my mouse.

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Overview

Hedgehog has to go away—"for five long days—"and Mouse has to stay at home alone. How they will miss each other! In alternating scenes, Hedgehog and Mouse count down the days, always thinking of their absent friend.

"Five days until I see my mouse. Today I went to the beach where I found a seashell. I'm going to bring it home to my mouse.

Five more days until I'll see my hedgehog again. Every night at eight o'clock, I look at the bright star to the left of the moon. And then we think about each other."

But on the day of their reunion a misunderstanding finds them both all alone at the train station. Did Hedgehog decide not to return? Has Mouse forgotten him? Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder in this sweet story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
The title of an old Rodgers and Hart standard, "Glad to Be Unhappy," aptly describes the mood of this strikingly visualized work. Hedgehog and Mouse have been apart for five days while Hedgehog travels. The fellow collects a seashell at a windswept, wintry-looking beach so Mouse can "hold it to her ear and listen to the sound of the sea. That way, it will almost seem as if she had been here with me." At home, Mouse thinks of Hedgehog even when she's playing hide-and-seek with someone else, and listens to "the song that Hedgehog and I always dance to." Petz's (Mona the Monster Girl) text may sound sappy, but Greban's (The Dearest Little Mouse in the World) spectacular watercolors leaven the proceedings. The paintings are by turns austere and voluptuous, evocative and elusive. In one scene that brings to mind Bertolucci, Hedgehog walks intently with a rabbit couple he has met, while three windmills churn on an otherwise barren landscape. The book falters only at the very end, when Petz and Greban stage a missed meeting at the station that smacks of An Affair to Remember that likely won't register with young readers. Otherwise, there's an almost cinematic magic at work as the couple counts down the days until the big reunion. Ages 4-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sometimes, as in this sweet book, friendships are tested by separation. This is the tale of Hedgehog and Mouse. The story, which is told in alternating narratives, opens five days before the friends are reunited. Hedgehog picks up a seashell, saying, "I will bring it back to Mouse. She can hold it to her ear and listen to the sound of the sea. That way, it will almost seem as if she had been here with me." A day closer to seeing her, Hedgehog sends Mouse a letter, by way of stork, to tell her that he loves her. Mouse, too, sends a love letter to Hedgehog, by way of white dove. Three days before Hedgehog gets home, he and Mouse meet new friends—but each decide their favorite companion is each other. Two days before they are reunited, Hedgehog picks up a gift for Mouse, while Mouse listens to the song that they always dance to together. The day before Hedgehog gets home, both are so excited they can think of nothing else. Finally, Hedgehog arrives home by train—but does not see Mouse standing by a flower stand holding a huge bouquet. He walks to their home, forlorn, after waiting hours. Mouse, too, trudges home, thinking that Hedgehog has forgotten her. But then they see each other and share a joyful hug. "From now on," says Hedgehog, "we will always travel together." The book's watercolors are as touching as the story. 2005, North-South Books, Ages 5 to 6.
—Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Hedgehog and Mouse declare how much they miss one another during Hedgehog's five-day vacation at the shore. He thinks of her each day, and they exchange letters. He meets others on his trip, but soon realizes that he could never find as good a friend as Mouse. She thinks, "Three days left until Hedgehog comes home." Full-bleed color illustrations face pages of text and a smaller picture. The tender artwork serves to move the story along to the penultimate spread, at the train station. Children can look for Hedgehog, who is partially obscured in one part of the scene, while Mouse searches in another corner. As the page is turned, readers are reassured that the friends find one another. In addition, young readers can practice counting back down from the five vacation days each time the story is repeated. Use this simple story with children who might be missing someone to give them the reassurance that the anticipated day will indeed arrive.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780735820050
Publisher:
North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
08/28/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.94(w) x 11.56(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
8 - 6 Years

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