[Reviewed from copy received courtesy of Oxford University Press]
The Mouse that Cancelled Christmas is a happy, hilarious, and light-hearted Christmas tale about Mouse, a self-designated safety inspector, who runs around the forest pointing out every potential hazard to his forest mates. He gets so worked up about every single possible danger that he becomes overwhelmed and decides that Christmas is just too dangerous and simply must be cancelled!
Well, that is until he finds out that his friends have gotten the perfect Christmas present just for him: a megaphone. His new and beloved present creates quiet the change of heart and while he is still bossy, he is now focused on everyone enjoying presents, cookies, music, and dancing.
Throughout the story, one little bird warns them of an oncoming concern, but no one pays attention until they are all caught by surprise. They still have a great Christmas, but it is not how they expected it to turn out.
The illustrations are charming and warm and have a wonderfully festive feel to them. There are great details that both my two-year-old and six-year-old sons enjoyed pointing out. Mouse’s toolbox and tools were of special interest to them and they felt compelled to find it on every page possible. The text and the illustrations work together very well. There’s not a lot of text and it is dispersed so expertly throughout the pages that it makes for a breezy and lively read.
The Mouse that Cancelled Christmas is a lot of fun to read to my boys. At first my eldest son was utterly horrified that anyone would ever even think of cancelling Christmas and declared that Mouse was terrible! He was very suspicious of Mouse and this book from the get go, but after a few pages he quickly changed his mind.
When he learned that Mouse was just worried about his friends getting hurt, he became a little more sympathetic to why Mouse behaved the way he did. We talked about whether or not it was a good idea to give Mouse a megaphone (we decided it was) and we talked about real versus perceived dangers. We had a surprisingly deep conversation about how our past experiences can shape our present behavior, but that we have the power to change it. We discussed how one might want to warn people and the pros and cons of being so bossy. But mainly we laughed and enjoyed reading the book over and over again.
My youngest enjoys yelling out, “Danger!” and then puts his hands up to his face and shouts like he is holding a megaphone. I have appreciated the ease and artful simplicity of this book when I’ve been exhausted and he wants me to read, “Just one more!” book to him.
We are delighted by The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas. It’s a festive, humorous, and empathetic look at worry, bossiness, friendship, and unexpected events. It has surprised me by instigating several wonderful and meaningful conversations with my eldest son. It’s a great story that is well crafted and a welcome addition to our repertoire of Christmas books.
Recommended Ages 2 to 5. Oxford University Press. October 2016. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-0192744296 Fiction.
Where to Get it:
Author and Illustrator Websites:
- Madeleine Cook
- Samara Hardy
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”