Third Mouse is the Charm!

Babymouse:  Queen of the World

Authors:  Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

It’s not that the premise behind Babymouse #1 is new–it is constantly used in children’s literature.  Babymouse wants more glamour and excitement in her life, and she thinks if she can only get invited to the popular girl’s slumber party, then everything will be fabulous.  She gets invited, but has to ditch a monster movie night with her BFF to do so…and, of course, she realizes that there really is no place like home.  So while the plot holds no surprises, I just adored this little book!

And the reason why is simple:  I quickly came to like and care about Babymouse.  She is a bit sassy, with a wild, Walter Mitty-style imagination that leaves her daydreaming in front of her locker about deep space travel.  She is flawed, yearning for greener grasses and making mistakes along the way.  In Queen of the World, Babymouse learns the value of the life and friends she has, and the message of self-acceptance is an oldy but goody.  Also, her imaginings cast her at various times in versions of Cinderella and Frankenstein, as well as something Star Trekky and Old Westish.  It’s just…fun.

Probably because I’m currently reading Pathways to the Common Core, I am on high alert for bits that strike a CCSS-note.  One of the opening pages of this story is a series of images from Babymouse’s bedroom, and right away, I thought, “I can see putting this up on the big screen and having students draw inferences about the main character from elements in the setting.”  Mind you, Babymouse books tend to run in the mid-second-grade-ish as far as level, but as an introductory piece, it would work well.  And I’ve decided I love her.  The last three books I’ve reviewed have featured mice as the main characters, but Babymouse is by far the most charming.

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