Sticky-gooey, jam to spread with peanut butter smeared on bread. Nighttime is snack time for a mischievous mouse, whose colorful antics in the kitchen of a human family are a joy to follow. As anyone small in a big people's world can tell you, some mess is inevitable — milk spills, after all, and crackers scatter. Wielding enormous forks and knives is bound to be a difficult task. But Mouse isn't content to merely eat the food he finds: he rakes corn flakes into a pile to jump in, builds a castle out of sugar, and pops the tops off of bottles and jars just for fun. In a climax that will send young readers into fits of laughter, a tired and satiated Mouse refuses to accept the blame for the havoc he's wreaked: "'Who made this awful mess?' asks Mouse. 'These people need to clean their house!'" He takes a bath in a teacup and makes his way to bed, leaving children to imagine the reaction of the family coming downstairs for breakfast.
Bursting with exuberance, Mouse Mess
is a joyful ode to disorder. Linnea Riley's color-saturated collages were made using paper sponged with watercolor paint, and the resulting images are almost palpably multidimensional. Kids will rejoice in the mouse-sized perspective of the pictures, which refrain from giving a people's-eye view of the kitchen counter until the very end. Sure to entertain, delight, and even — beware — inspire, this gloriously bright picture book will be a favorite for years to come.