C. Lovelady’s MOUSE’S SPLASHY TUESDAY is a delightful romp, with a lively heroine determined to get the most out of what might have been a dreary rainy day. Mouse’s enthusiasm and imagination are contagious, and her vivid personality shines through the book, giving little kids a friendly and rambunctious playmate to identify with and enjoy. Her mother supports and celebrates her imaginative world, calling her “my little warrior,” giving her unconditional love and warm acceptance – the only scolding she gets is when she takes off her raincoat to cover the tomatoes, and the worst punishment she receives for it is her mother’s use of her middle name. Mostly, though, she is affirmed in her identity, with her mother, when not scolding her, needing only to be reminded once to use her chosen nickname “Mouse” instead of her given name, Lily.
The pictures are bright and cheerful, with heavy emphasis on sunny yellows and vibrant reds despite the grey of the rainstorm. The illustrations, by Anastasia Khmelevska, show us with direct visual clarity, therefore, that the miserable grey dullness of a rainy day will never be able to win over Mouse’s fierce and joyous sunshine. The characters are drawn in soft round shapes, cozy and friendly, recognizably childlike without being too cutesy, and the pictures of Mouse in particular show us a child in constant motion, capturing the vigorous energy of the story. At the end of the story, the energy resolves itself in a peaceful fireside scene, where Mouse is wrapped in a warm cozy blanket by her mother and snuggles up by the fire to eat her “surrender bacon”. But she still has enough energy to plan to take on the “water lands” (i.e. puddles) after lunch. Perhaps it’s a trifle unrealistic that Chewie the dog falls asleep before the bacon was gone – I’ve never known a dog to go to sleep when there was bacon to be eaten – but it does add to the ending’s snug comfortable charm. There’s not much conflict in this story, aside from the battle Mouse makes up in her own mind, but there doesn’t need to be – it’s a story about the full and energetic enjoyment of life, as only kids can do it. MOUSE’S SPLASHY TUESDAY is a brilliant tonic, a jolt of happiness and color in a sometimes grey and rainy world, which will encourage kids to delight in imaginative play and vigorous self-expression.
A cute, cheerful little book about a child enjoying herself in the rain, MOUSE’S SPLASHY TUESDAY will charm and entertain in equal measure.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader