Sonderbooks Book Review of

Charlie & Mouse

by Laurel Snyder

illustrated by Emily Hughes

Charlie & Mouse

by Laurel Snyder
illustrated by Emily Hughes

Review posted December 27, 2017.
Chronicle Books, 2017. 36 pages.
Starred Review
2018 Geisel Award Winner

Early readers about two friends are classic. In this one, we follow the adventures of two brothers. We’ve got four simple stories about everyday events. The stories feel familiar, are abundantly illustrated. They’re easy to read and leave you with a smile.

I like the way the first story, “Lumps,” begins with Charlie poking lumps after he wakes up. The first lump is Mouse. The next lumps are Mom and Dad.

All the lumps claim to be sleeping at first, but how can you be sleeping if you are talking? And today is the day of the neighborhood party!

The next story, “The Party,” sees the whole family setting off to the neighborhood party. They pull Blanket in the wagon. Dad brings cookies.

I like the way the kids are dressed. Charlie’s got a cape and a pink pointed hat and a magic wand. Mouse has two antennae, a fringed leather vest, cowboy boots, and a tutu over his pants.

As they walk to the party, they pass many neighborhood kids, who join them. When they get to the playground, no one is there. But the whole neighborhood has come, and the party is wonderful.

In the next story, “Rocks,” Charlie and Mouse want to make some money and try selling rocks. People don’t want to buy rocks, but they will pay to have Charlie and Mouse take away rocks. But they’re so tired, they end up spending their money on ice cream.

Finally, in “Bedtime Banana,” the kids think of a new treat that should happen at bedtime. The book ends with Charlie thinking what a nice lump is in bed next to him.

This book is in the tradition of easy reader twosomes. It deals with simple friendship and everyday events. The language is simple without being remotely boring. The pictures illustrate what’s going on and add humor and life. This will be a treat for kids who can read it themselves.

I like the statement in the Author’s Bio on the back flap: Laurel Snyder has two sons, and she “would like to state for the record that while none of these stories are exactly true, none of them are exactly untrue either.”