What could be more adorable than a mouse on a stroll through the welcoming woods? Author-illustrator Alice Melvin’s newest picture book, Mouse’s Wood: A Year in Nature, takes young readers on a year-long walk through the woods as the year progresses and the seasons change.
January brings snowy forest footprints and rooftops. It also offers a peek inside Mouse’s cozy house as he snuggles in bed with a good book. Chilly February offers a romp through the woods and the promise of greenery in months to come. March brings high winds — the perfect time to hang the wash out to dry. April brings showers and an explosion of May flowers. Month after month, readers experience the wonder, warmth and excitement that the passing year brings. There is everything from strawberry picking to crop harvesting to camping out in the lovely woods. There are also bonus details about the plants, insects, trees and even birds that one might find during a romp through the wood.
Mouse’s Wood is both warm and delightful, and is sure to bring a smile to the budding nature-lover’s lips. The prose is not necessarily fast-paced, but it is still a steady progression of comforting familiarity. Adventurous readers march on from January to December in the familiar beat that is the progression of life. The rhyming prose is short, sweet and descriptive of months and seasons we have all experienced at one time or another. The lush and lively illustrations are a perfect match for the prose, and each page turn offers a sweet bonus of fold-outs of Mouse’s house and page extensions that make the illustration spreads seem bigger than life.
Use this book in early elementary science and art classes to open a discuss about nature, seasons, and the environment — and have fun inspecting Mouse’s house in the fold-outs, too.