CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 9. . . .November 1, 2013
In Run Home, Little Mouse, the reader is taken alongside Little Mouse as he tries to find his way home through the dark woods. With only a glimpse of the eyes of the creatures lurking on the next page, Little Mouse and the reader are left guessing as to what they are about to encounter. A turn of the page reveals the creature’s identity and leads the reader further into the dark woods as Little Mouse tries to escape predators and find his home. Which creature will Little Mouse and the reader come across next?
Run Home, Little Mouse was originally published in German under the title Lauf nach Hause, kleine Maus. The author and illustrator, Britta Teckentrup, has created over 60 children’s books which have been published in more than 20 countries.
Written in the third person, Teckentrup’s simple word choices and repetitive phrase, “Run home, Little Mouse, as fast as you can!”, allow novice readers to become active participants during read-alouds. Large, white, bold print is used to emphasize the types of animals that Little Mouse encounters, such as a fox, a weasel, a crow, and two bats.
The brightly-coloured trees, moon, and animals’ eyes are visually appealing, yet they do not compete with the sombre, dark woods setting of the story. While the glossy, black backgrounds of the pages create the setting of the dark woods, unfortunately they also show readers’ fingerprints.
Teckentrup’s use of die-cuts, employed to only reveal the eyes of the creature(s) on the subsequent page, serve as an element of suspense and anticipation. However, some readers may realize that the first inside page provides a preview of the animals that Little Mouse will encounter throughout the book. One small artistic criticism is that the yellow eyes of the bat shown in the first illustration differ slightly to the yellow-eyed bat found within the book (i.e. the yellow and black proportions of the bat’s eyes).
This die-cut board book will withstand the inquisitive hands of children as they eagerly flip through the sturdy, yet flexible, pages.
Run Home, Little Mouse will keep the reader turning the pages in anticipation to discover which creatures Little Mouse will encounter in his dash through the dark woods in search of his home.
Kelsey Sukich in an early years teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. She prefers when mice make their homes far away from hers.
Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. He teaches early years and middle years literacy education classes.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.