#1162 – Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder & Emily Hughes

Charlie & Mouse, Book 1
Written by Laurel Snyder
Illustrations by Emily Hughes
Chronicle Books  4/11/2017
48 pages Ages 6—9

A Junior Library Guild Selection
“Meet Charlie and Mouse!

“Join them in their very first book as they:

talk to lumps,
take the neighborhood to a party,
sell some rocks, and
invent the bedtime banana.

“With imagination and humor, Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes paint a lively picture of brotherhood in four irresistible stories that readers will relish.” [INSIDE JACKET]

[WC 495]
In book 1 of this 4-book early reader series, we meet Charlie and his younger brother, Mouse. Most books shy away from starting the day by getting up, but Charlie and Mouse make rising and shining a humorous start to any day in the first story, “Lumps.”

Charlie continues to poke the lump, which will not get up. The lump has one eye open and one tightly closed. Charlie reminds the lump of the neighborhood party since it had a bounce house from Jumpers N Rentals. The lump turns into Mouse. The boys head off to their parent’s room. There they find two lumps.

Mouse poked one of the lumps. “Are you awake?”
“No,” said the lump. “We are sleeping.”

“How can you be sleeping?” asked Mouse. “You are talking.”
“I’m a mom,” said the lump. “I can do what I want.”

The family rises and steps into the second story, “The Party.” Today is the neighborhood party. With excitement overflowing the two boys dance around the kitchen as mom and dad reach for the coffee and try to learn how to use a toaster oven. The family walks to the playground, site of the party. Charlie and Mouse greet their friends and neighbors, telling them about the party. Kids follow behind the family, making a longer and longer chain of impromptu partygoers.
The last two stories, “Rocks” and “Bedtime Banana” have the same exuberance and young child humor as the first two stories. Charlie and Mouse want spending money and decide to sell rocks to get their coins. Lastly, the boys are ready to go to bed. The boys have brushed teeth, washed faces, and a listened to a story. Something is missing—a banana! Mom easily agrees and brings the boys bananas. After teeth were rebrushed, good-nights said, and the light turned out, Charlie pokes Mouse.

Children learning to read or beginning to read on their own will adore this early reader series. The sentence structure is simple, with repetition as the story progresses. Learning new vocabulary, increasing reading skill, and gaining confidence are achievable by spending time with Charlie & Mouse.
The hand rendered graphite and then Photoshopped illustrations are endearing and diverse. In the boys’ rock-selling business, potential customers include a gay couple. Charlie and pink tutu wearing Mouse are mixed-race, with a white mom and an Asian Dad. The neighborhood is also delightfully multicultural, though no one seems to take notice. Both boys have large, expressive eyes and enchanting smiles.
Hughes’s illustrations perfectly compliment to Snyder’s quick-paced text. Each story ends on a twist children will love. There is not a lot one can say against Charlie & Mouse. The bright, bouncy boys will keep young children entertained whether they are reading or listening to the stories.

Highly recommended!

Next Up: Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy, Book #2 available October 3, 2017 — PreOrder HERE.

CHARLIE & MOUSE, BOOK #1. Text copyright © 2017 by Laurel Snyder. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Emily Hughes. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

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Add CHARLIE & MOUSE, BOOK #1 to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.
Teacher’s Guide is HERE.

Illustrations from CHARLIE & MOUSE, BOOK #1 by Laurel Snyder copyright © 2017 by Emily Hughes. Used with permission from Chronicle Books.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Charlie & Mouse, Book #1
Written by Laurel Snyder
Illustrations by Emily Hughes
Chronicle Books 4/11/2017


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