“The hip rhythms and tongue-twisting humor in this jazzy, poetic, fun-to-read-aloud book make it a keeper your child will want to read over and over again.”
Cricket Magazine online
“Getting the beat and the tongue-twisting phrases just right takes some practice, but the outcome is well worth the effort.”
“Children will cheer for this rascally oddball rebel.”
“Replete with scat-y, cat-and-mouse–y wordplay, this is giggle-worthy fun.”
“The text sets a catchy rhythm and never lets go. Wilsdorf's illustrations, rich in saturated color, glow with warmth and vibrancy.”
Kirkus Reviews on TWO STICKS
“Wilsdorf captures the verve and action of the tale in vibrant colors and broad strokes.”
School Library Journal on TWO STICKS
The Orlando Sentinel on TWO STICKS
“This rollicking romp represents a wonderful marriage of text and illustration. Wacky and sure to elicit a giggle, this one is a winner.”
School Library Journal on SUNNY BOY!
“Kids . . . will whoop over the silliness and derring-do.”
Booklist on SUNNY BOY!
Thelonious, a mouse full of music, just cannot help himself. While Fat Cat snores, his mouse family tries to be quiet. But Thelonious just has to sing his scat songs and dance away. When Fat Cat wakes up, Thelonious races home, still swishing his tail at her. He is safe this time, but he continues to sing and dance. One day, Fat Cat chases him into a dollhouse in the playroom and shakes it. Thelonious likes the "boppity-bop-bop," until he croons a lullaby to put Fat Cat to sleep so he can escape. Returning to the playroom, Thelonious is enchanted by a toy piano with which to sing and dance. Fat Cat finds him there. But Thelonious's music makes for a harmonious happy ending. Wilsdorf's active black line is enhanced by added watercolors that help decorate the rooms and furnishings. The amusing, active cat and mouse game is introduced on the jacket and cover. The scatty lyrics of Thelonious's songs wave in italics across the pages, adding to the design and the fun. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
K-Gr 3—Thelonious Mouse is full of energy, enthusiasm, and daring, attributes that manifest themselves in razzy, jazzy, snazzy onomatopoeic and rhyming phrases that he sings everywhere he goes. He loves to swish his tail as he taunts the resident cat: "Swish-cheese…Swish-cheese," "Swish-a-whisker…Swish-a-whisker." Thelonious drives his family nuts with all the near misses he has with Fat Cat, but the mouse persists and eventually figures out a way to get the feline to bop to the beat as well. Wilsdorf's playful, colorful, and detailed illustrations express the energy Thelonious exudes from one page to the next. This picture book will be a challenge for anyone who tries to read it aloud cold. Getting the beat and the tongue-twisting phrases just right takes some practice, but the outcome is well worth the effort. A "bouncy mousy whip-whopping nonstop bebop!"—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
Day after day, Thelonious Mouse sings cat-taunting scat, skittering through the house, tail swishing,
daring Fat Cat to awaken and give chase.
His antics worry his cautious parents, and his timid siblings display neither talent nor inclination for the exuberant jazz that inspires Thelonious to dance and sing. When Fat Cat chases him into the playroom, Thelonious discovers a dollhouse just his size. Later, a toy piano captures the interest of the curious mouse. "The box had black and white steps, but they didn't seem to climb anywhere. Each step rang out as he ran, hitting higher and higher notes." That piano's the catalyst for an unlikely new duet, as Fat Cat (now Glad Cat) leaps up to yowl and dance along with Thelonious, clearly mesmerized by the mouse's infectious syncopations. Wilsdorf's antic mice are reminiscent of Valeri Gorbachev's nuanced animal illustrations, though Fat Cat is more, er, broadly drawn. Plenty of action and droll interior details to spy should capture kids' fancy, while grown-ups trying this as a read-aloud might need to pause to untangle their tongues.
Replete with scat-y, cat-and-mouse–y wordplay, this is giggle-worthy fun.
(Picture book. 3-6)