Shrinking Mouse

shrinking mouse pat hutchins

Mouse, Fox, Rabbit, and Squirrel watch fearfully as their friend Owl seems to get smaller as he flies away from them. Will he disappear altogether? A comic view of spatial perspectives.---from the publisher

32 pages                                    978-0688139612                               Ages 4-6

Keywords:  animals, perspective, concepts, fun, humor, fears, repetition, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, spatial relationships

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"Four animal friends, distressed that Owl seems to shrink as he flies away, each set off in turn to warn him. But those remaining behind notice that their companions also get smaller as they move further away. Only Mouse is left, and though he fears disappearing like the rest, he bravely sets out to alert his friends to their danger. When he joins them in the woods on the far side of the fields, he realizes with relief that he and the others are their normal sizes. But now their forest home in the distance seems to have all but disappeared. Will they ever be able to return home? From its title, done in progressively shrinking letters, to its reassuring conclusion, this humorous story of spatial relationships is just perfect for young audiences.

The repetitive text invites participation, and children who realize how silly the animals' fears are will feel justly proud of their own superior knowledge. The double-page spreads, executed in gouache paints, are large and uncluttered, and the woodland scenes are inhabited by winsome animals stylized with patterned fur, signature Hutchins. Pair this offering with Sally Noll's Watch Where You Go (Greenwillow, 1990) for a story hour about things that are not always what they seem.---Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT,  School Library Journal

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