On the ninth day of Christmas, my blogger shared with me…
a counting book from mouse sans cookie!
Merry Christmas, Mouse!, by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
(2007, HarperCollins Children’s, ISBN 978-0-06-134499-2)
This Christmas counting book features the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and his overzealous behavior continues as he decorates a Christmas tree!
Readers expecting the “if/then” pattern of the If You Give books may be disappointed because this, although it stars the famous mouse, is not that sort of book. It starts with Mouse putting one star on the tree and progresses on each page with him adding a successively larger number of decorations—two angels, three snowflakes, etc.—until he gets to ten…and then has one hundred more to go! The bulk of this board book is essentially a long list of the items he adds to the tree, so there are a total of four sentences in the whole thing. Each page features a sentence or phrase containing the number word printed in color to match the numeral printed in one of the top corners. The illustration style will be familiar to anyone who knows the series already (although you only see Mouse himself on four pages). Each spread shows a close-up of a section of a Christmas tree with the just the ornaments being described on that page showing. When it says there are just one hundred left to go, you see a huge pile of various ornaments on the ground next to the tree, then the last page shows an over-burdened tree tilting dangerously toward Mouse under the weight of all the decorations. There are an abundance of things to count and explore, especially on the last few pages, to satisfy even the most detail-attentive child!
GirlChild and BoyChild’s Reactions: While GirlChild is capable of counting much higher than ten, she still likes to count the objects in a counting book like this one. She loves the If You Give books that we’ve read, so she recognizes the mouse, too. (The only thing she would have loved more would have been if it featured the pig from If You Give a Pig a Party instead because she has that book and stuffed animal from a Kohl’s Cares for Kids book and toy sale a couple years ago.) BoyChild is still at the age where he wants to eat the book instead of reading it or looking at the pictures, so I’d probably recommend this book either for infants who have a longer attention span than BoyChild or for toddlers and preschoolers learning to count.
I’ve had a hard time finding good Christmas-themed board books for the very young…does anyone have any good suggestions? I know there are some Karen Katz ones (see below, although they’re not everyone’s cup of tea), but our library’s board books are just stored randomly in bins, so I can’t locate any without looking at every single board book in the place!