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Review of Charlie & Mouse

Charlie & Mouse
by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily Hughes
Primary    Chronicle    48 pp.
4/17    978-1-4521-3153-5    $14.99

This beginning chapter book is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, brothers Charlie and Mouse spend a day together in their home and neighborhood. Adults are present, but the focus is on the boys as they have a party at the playground, attempt to sell rocks to the neighbors, and wheedle mom into giving them an extra bedtime snack (after they’ve already brushed their teeth!). Oodles of white space and a large font size combined with textual repetition support emergent readers and create momentum that builds to each page turn and chapter’s end. (“Mouse poked one of the lumps. ‘Are you awake?’ ‘No,’ said the lump. ‘We are sleeping.’ ‘How can you be sleeping?’ asked Mouse. ‘You are talking.’ ‘I am a mom,’ said the lump. ‘I can do what I want.’”) Hughes’s graphite illustrations in muted tones radiate humor and heart. Characters are given personality through their facial expressions and attire: in one scene, Mouse dons a tutu, sheriff jacket, spurs, and a pom-pom headband while Charlie proudly walks, magic wand in hand, wearing a superhero cape, baseball tee, and pointed pink hat.

From the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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About Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is the Youth Collection Development Librarian at the Deerfield Public Library in Illinois.

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