Review of Violet & Jobie in the Wild

Violet & Jobie in the WildViolet & Jobie in the Wild
by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author
Primary, Intermediate     Greenwillow    240 pp.    g
9/22     978-0-06-249969-1     $16.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-249971-4    $9.99

Mouse siblings Violet and Jobie live a cozy life in a human house where they are warm and comfortable, have plenty to eat, and sometimes watch Nature Magnificent on television. They like to play the “cheese game,” where they use a pencil to spring a mousetrap and then enjoy its bait—until one careless day, they find themselves trapped inside. The humans, a benevolent mother and child, release the mice in a distant state park, and the young rodents find themselves in a new environment that they are ill-equipped to navigate. The first night they sleep in a creature’s den, with near-tragic results: “Because suddenly, [Violet] realized that’s what the creature was: a fox. Thanks, Nature Magnificent !” Mercifully, they meet a wise old mouse, Zolian, who helps them learn to stay safe and also how to appreciate the world around them. Thoughtful Violet grows close to the elderly Zolian, while extroverted Jobie cultivates a large group of friends. When Jobie leaves to start a family of his own, Violet must figure out what comes next for her. The fast-paced plot keeps this gentle survival story moving. As in Perkins’s Newbery winner Criss Cross (rev. 9/05), spot-art vignettes appear frequently, full of insights about life and the natural world along with imaginative and funny details about how the mice might get along in it. Violet and Jobie ultimately discover their own ways, leaving their adventurous stories behind to inspire future generations of wide-eyed rodents (and humans).

From the September/October 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach

Julie Roach

Julie Roach, chair of the 2020 Caldecott Committee, manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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