Love, Mouserella by David Ezra Stein. September 15, 2011. Nancy Paulsen Books. 32 pages. ISBN: 9780399254109
Mouserella’s grandmouse has just left after a fun visit, and Mouserella already misses her greatly. At her mother’s suggestion, she starts writing Grandmouse a letter, in which she recounts a week’s worth of her daily activities, and includes mementos of those events, such as a ketchup packet and photographs.
The book is designed to resemble an envelope. The address, return address (in Mousehattan) and postmark appear on the back cover, and the flap of the envelope, being sealed by Mouserella, is the image on the front cover. The book is also oriented horizontally, so that the letter can be read from top to bottom, rather than with two pages side by side. This orientation might make it tricky to hold the book open for story time, but I do think it’s possible to make it work. The illustrations have a good amount of detail that might work best up close, but a smaller story time group could appreciate much of the writing and illustration at a slight distance.
I don’t think this book is quite as unique as Interrupting Chicken, but it does share the same child-centered outlook, complete with child-like crayon drawings, and it also focuses on the concept of telling a story through documents. I’ve already started thinking of ways to incorporate this book into a mail-themed story time, mainly because it works so well with other books I’ve read recently: Mr. Griggs’ Work by Cynthia Rylant, Good-bye, Curtis by Kevin Henkes, and I Miss You Every Day by Simms Taback.
Some songs and rhymes that would be appropriate to use with this book include: