Review of Mouseboat

Mouseboat Mouseboat
by Larissa Theule; illus. by Abigail Halpin
Primary    Viking    40 pp.
3/23    9780593327357    $18.99
e-book ed.  9780593327371  $10.99

Faye and her father arrive at a cabin by a lake. Her first-person narration addresses someone who’s not there: “Your chair is empty…The quilt you made smells like you.” Faye doesn’t identify her mother, but it’s clear that’s who she’s missing. “Dad does everything different.” Longing to feel close to her mom, Faye takes out Faye & Mama’s Mouseboat just as thunder rumbles in the distance. As the storm begins in earnest, Faye feels her mother all around her. “The clouds sweep in fast and bring me so much more of you.” After the storm passes, Faye returns to shore, where her father is waiting for her. Halpin’s digital, watercolor, and colored-pencil illustrations create a dreamlike atmosphere that perfectly captures the story’s mood. Dark blues and grays dominate the scenes when depicting sadness; warm reds telegraph comfort and safety. A good book to help children cope with loss and to help them discover fresh starts even during the most challenging times.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Weileen Wang
You-Ling (Weileen) Wang loves to write, read, and illustrate. She attended Vanderbilt University, where she studied child development and fell in love with children's literature. She holds a master's degree in arts in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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