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Miss Renee's Mice Hardcover – January 1, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Destined to delight dollhouse aficionados, this imaginative tale by a debut author introduces a Maine woman who spends her days decorating dollhouses with furniture, rugs and other miniature objects all of which she makes herself. Miss Rene then buys plastic dolls to live in the houses, though the dolls "were dull and didn't do anything." But when Miss Rene's barn blows down in a storm, its inhabitants, a cache of frisky mice, move indoors and before long the dollhouses acquire much livelier occupants. Peterson's (The Orphan Seal) sometimes staid pictures are at their most playful as they show the mice, now dressed in tiny doll outfits, pitching the plastic dolls out the window, cavorting in the "secret drawer" where Miss Rene keeps her chocolate, and partying all night; meanwhile, she and her lazy cat lie awake, unable to sleep with all the noise-making. At last, Miss Rene builds a small sailboat (named The Good Riddance) to carry the mice on a trip around the world, only to discover that she misses their "squeaky singing and pittery-pattery dancing" and that her houses look less beautiful with no one to use them. Kids will be as tickled as Miss Rene at the return of the diminutive crew, who, sporting costumes from all parts of the globe, unload their cargo of wood and fabrics from various continents enough to keep the miniaturist busy for quite some time. A jolly and jaunty escapade. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
reS-Gr 2-Miss Rene is a rather eccentric soul who spends her solitary life in a big house by the sea crafting miniature houses and accoutrements. Dolls are added almost as an afterthought. Life in the stylish but dull dollhouses is forever changed after a fierce winter storm drives the barn mice indoors. They are naturally attracted to the perfectly proportioned little abodes and waste no time in chucking the plastic dolls out the windows and making themselves right at home. Miss Rene is horrified by the festive, mannerless little marauders and concocts a plan to send them on their way. She fashions a little boat aptly named The Good Riddance and gives each mouse a one-way ticket around the world. Life, Miss Rene discovers, is a good deal quieter and sadder without the cheerful rodents. Months later, when the mice unexpectedly return from their travels resembling a veritable United Nations delegation and bearing gifts, the reunion is a happy one. The coastal Maine setting throughout the seasons is nicely evoked by the watercolor illustrations. The mice are drawn with a good deal of personality and whimsy that is less apparent in the human face and figure of Miss Rene. An additional purchase.
Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.