Author: Don and Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood
Age Group: 0-6 years
Synopsis: It’s only after the little mouse finds a delicious strawberry that he realizes that he’s stumbled into a much bigger plot.
The Low Down: This was one of my favorites when I was younger and still holds a dear place in my heart.. I was so delighted when Bug loved it as much, if not more, than I did. He still hasn’t figured out how to say strawberry so he calls it the “blueberry” book and he requests it often. Often enough that it was his Halloween costume last year. The family’s costume really. Bug was the little mouse, I was the strawberry, and my husband was convinced to be a bear.
The story is simple and easy to follow. Essentially, the mouse is quite valiantly defending his strawberry from a pillaging bear. The mouse ends up getting the last laugh by enjoying the strawberry before the bear can steal it from him. It’s such a clever solution, that it makes me smile every time we read it. My husband points out that there is no evidence that there is an actual strawberry scavenging bear terrorizing the countryside and we have to take the narrator’s (in this case the reader’s) word for it. However, as the narrator ends up getting half of the strawberry out of the deal it seems far from being objective. My husband is quick to point this out in each reading, adding his own words as he finishes each page. For his part Bug only seems to care about helping cut the strawberry in half and receiving his share.
The illustrations are fabulous, although that’s quite typical for a book illustrated by Don Wood, and there are a few fun little surprises, if you’re paying attention. Bug loved the book early on because of how we read it. I would make a deep, scary voice every time I read “big hungry bear” and it made him giggle to no end. Then we would say “Uh Oh!” when the strawberry was picked and stomp our feet as the bear came stomping through the forest. Boom! Boom! Boom! This book becomes especially popular around birthdays when Bug can blow the candles out for the mouse (they’re lit on one page and blown out on the next). It makes it easy to interact with the story because the story is written to interact with you. Looking at it that way it comes as no shock that it’s a favorite.
- Blow out the candles, stomp your feet, sniff for the strawberry, help cut the strawberry in half, and take the half that’s offered to you by the mouse (because who turns down strawberries? People with strawberry allergies, that’s who. But the rest of us have no excuse!). This book begs to be played out and kids (and adults too) enjoy it more that way.
I need more!
Don and Audrey Wood have lots of titles. I can personally recommend Piggies and The Napping House. Let me know if you have a favorite that I should add to our review list.
Add to my library: