Book: Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Illustrator: Matthew Holm
Age Range: 3-7
Babymouse, the intrepid, cupcake-loving heroine created by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, has appeared in 20 graphic novels to date. Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes is Babymouse's first foray into the world of picture books. As a longtime fan of Babymouse, I found the new picture book delightful.
As the story begins, we find a young Babymouse, perhaps three or four years old. Her little brother is a (very loud) baby. It's Christmas Eve, and Babymouse, alas, eats all of the cookies meant for Santa. But that's ok, because she decides to make Santa some Christmas cupcakes. However, in classic Babymouse fashion, things do not work out quite as expected. A fantasy element roars in, and, well, let's just say that it's a good thing Santa doesn't need very many cupcakes.
I do love Babymouse. I love that she adores pink, but also wants a suit of armor for Christmas, "because of all the dragons." I love that baking cookies for Santa isn't unique enough, and the fact that she considers (though happily rejects) making a tuna casserole. As in the graphic novels, the dry voice of the narrator interacting with Babymouse lends humor to the story. And I love, love, love the ending, which made me laugh, and also nod with recognition.
This is, I believe, Babymouse's first time appearing in full color (the graphic novels are black, white, and pink), and Matthew Holms' eye-catching illustrations are sure to draw in the youngest of readers. I challenge any reader to resist the illustration in which Babymouse leaps into the air, positively bursting with excitement, when she hits upon the idea of Christmas cupcakes. There's also a quite fetching pink dragon.
Fans of the Babymouse books will definitely want to add Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes to their holiday wish lists. For those children too young to already be fans, Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes is a perfect introduction for preschoolers to an imaginative, stereotype-busting character. It's difficult for me to assess objectively how this book will work for people meeting Babymouse for the first time, but I strongly suspect that it will be successful. There are fun, read-aloud-friendly sound effects and typical small child behaviors (like making a huge mess when helping out, and not being able to resist eating too many cookies). And there is Babymouse.
My only slight regret (though I agree with as a creative decision) is that Babymouse does not, in this book, mutter "Typical." I am hoping for a future picture book in which she says that for the first time.
Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes is highly recommended for in-home holiday reading, and a must-purchase for libraries. I can't wait to read it with my own young dragon-slayer.
Publisher: Random House Books for Children (@RandomHouseKids)
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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