________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 9 . . . .January 7, 2005


Little Mouse, I Love You.

Dugald Steer. Illustrated by Caroline Anstey.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2004.
22 pp., cloth, $14.99.
ISBN 0-439-95712-5.

Subject Headings:
Grandparent and child-Juvenile fiction.
Animals-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 3-5.

Review by Lorraine Douglas.

*** /4



Once upon a time there was a little mouse who was always asking questions. Luckily, she had a gran who was always answering them, and between them they made quite a pair.

"Gran," asked Little Mouse one day, "what is love?"

"Love?" laughed Gran.

"Oh, that's easy, Little Mouse! Come for a walk and you'll soon see!"

Gran and Little Mouse set off through the garden where Grandpa was digging his vegetable patch.

"Shh," hushed Grandpa, and pointed to where a mother wren was teaching her chicks how to fly.

"Just like the way you and Gran show me how to do things!" whispered Little Mouse.


This gentle and reassuring picture book focuses on the theme of love. When Grandmother mouse is asked what love means, she takes her grandchild mouse to see all the ways the animals in their world express their love for each other through their actions and care. The repetition of "Just the way you and Gran....." by the Little Mouse make this a nice story for sharing with young children who will catch on quickly to the patterning of the text. The book has an appealing tactile design with the red flocked cover with a cozy illustration of the mice and the title inset into the cover. All around this illustration are imprinted images of falling leaves, flowers and butterflies which nicely echo the interior page design. The illustrations are bright, finely detailed and reminiscent of stationery designer Marjolein Bastin's careful studies of animals and flora. The pages are heavy and very durable with embossments which young children will love touching. This also makes the book especially appealing for children with special needs who enjoy sensory experience.

     This lovely story was first published in the U.K., and it is reminiscent of Love is a Handful of Honey by Giles Andreae (Tiger Tales, 2001) in which a bear spends the day exploring some of the things love means. It is also on the same theme as the very popular Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (Candlewick, 1994), and it is as sweet as John Graham's I Love You, Mouse (Voyager, 1990). Dugald Steer is the author of the well-known "Snappy" series of pop-up books and the illustrator, Caroline Anstey, has many titles to her credit including Clara and Buster Go Moondancing by Dyan Sheldon (DK, 2001). This charming story would be a good choice for library preschool story times or as a nice gift item from a grandparent.


Lorraine is an artist and writer who lives in Winnipeg, MB. She was the Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library and is now retired.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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