Nice Twice!! Mice by Rose Fyleman and Lois Ehlert
THEIR TAILS ARE LONG,
THEIR FACES SMALL.
THEY HAVEN'T GOt ANY CHINS AT ALL.
There is no doubt who these characters are, those little guys who run free and who sample things people don't care to share with them.
But despite their naughty nightime nibbles, people, particularly picture book people, have a thing for mice. And it's easy to see why in Caldecott artist Lois Ehlert's brand-new redo of Rose Fyleman's Mice (Beach Lane Books, 2012). In her spare and deadpan rhyming description of these charming little rodentia, first published in 1932, Fyleman's short verse has become a classic over the years, but Ehlert's eye-catching collage version, is its best setting yet.
Using bits and pieces of art supplies and found objects in her now famous tactile style, Ehlert constructs her two little pillagers from textured torn paper and twine, craftily using the unraveled tips of the twine as feet just right for scampering ahead of the mostly unseen but looming night duty cat, paper hole reinforcements for their sharp little eyes, and pointy snippets of crinkled construction paper for their long tails. Along the way Ehlert works in bananas, crackers, popcorn, and finally cupcakes iced with sprinkles on the way to the expected escape from the cat, as the two late-night noshers picnic gleefully inside their snug mouse hole in the baseboard.
I think mice are nice, and you will, too, especially in Ehlert's magnificent remake of Rose Fyleman's Mice.