Jennifer and Matthew Holm will visit my school library in two weeks. I spend most of my day thinking about Babymouse and their new series, Squish. Today I reread the first book in the Babymouse series--Babymouse: Queen of the World. (Yes, I've read all fourteen books in the series.) Here are my thoughts...
"Typical" may be Babymouse's signature phrase but Babymouse: Queen of the World is anything but typical. A graphic novel done in shades of black, pink, and white, Babymouse tells the trials and tribulations of a young mouse striving for acceptance and a coveted invitation to the birthday part of the most popular girl in school, Felicia Furrypaws. Babymouse faces struggles faced by all children--the desire to fit in, find acceptance, and experience popularity. She struggles with whiskers that are not straight enough and the mundane task of "sanitation duty" (taking out the trash). She must also find balance between her dear friend Wilson the Weasel and the social clique that is surely the key to elevating her to "Queen of the World" status. In the process she faces internal conflicts and must decide if she is making the correct decision. These situations create a character who, as outlandish as she may be, is believable. Tongue- in-cheek humor is sprinkled throughout as Babymouse embarks on elaborate daydreams: she find herself battling a giant squid, scrubbing floors as Mousearealla, and journeying to Antarctica with nothing but penguins to keep her company. Detailed illustrations cleverly switch to bold pink when in the midst of a daydream. Readers who study the illustrations will find hidden gems--a carefully placed spider on an unread bookshelf or a humorous title added to a book.
My students and I highly recommend that all elementary and middle school librarians buy Babymouse. Thank you, Jennifer and Matthew, for giving the world Babymouse. :)
Borrow Babymouse: Queen of the World from your school or public library.
Jennifer and Matt's new graphic novel series, Squish, premieres on May 10, 2011.
Download the Babymouse Educators Guide.
Babymouse: Mad Scientist comes out on May 10, 2011.