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About the Author-
- Laurel Snyder is the author of many books for children. She lives and writes in a small yellow house in Atlanta, Georgia, which she shares with her husband and two sons.
Starred review from February 13, 2017
In four ebullient linked stories, Snyder (Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova) and Hughes (A Brave Bear) introduce the two eponymous brothers and their down-to-earth family. “I am a mom,” says Mom when she refuses to come out from under the covers early one morning. “I can do what I want.” From there, readers follow along as Charlie and Mouse organize an impromptu party at a playground, try to make money selling rocks (a nifty twist makes this the best story in the book), and try to postpone bedtime as long as possible. “We cannot go to sleep without a bedtime banana,” says Mouse, backing up Charlie. It’s a friendly, hang-loose world: the boys share a bed, Mouse dons a tutu for the playground party, and the customers for the boys’ rock-selling business include a gay couple, Mr. Erik and Mr. Michael. The emphasis on dialogue gives the stories the immediacy of a play script, and Hughes’s easygoing vignettes add just the right amount of visual punctuation. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. Illustrator’s agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House.
Starred review from February 15, 2017
Two brothers create four fine and loopy entertainments to fill their day.At daybreak, "Charlie woke up. There was a lump beside him." (In bed, under the covers, as Hughes' wry artwork relates.) "He poked the lump. The lump moaned." It's Mouse, who moans that he is sleeping. Charlie challenges that. "How can you be sleeping?...You are talking." They get up and go poke the two lumps in their parents' bed. "I am a mom," the lump announces. "I can do what I want." This same spirit informs the following three sagas in this early reader. One is a gathering parade to a neighborhood party, featuring a variety of genders, classes, and races. Mixed-race Charlie and Mouse have a white mom and an Asian dad; Mouse, although he takes the masculine pronoun, wears a pink tutu. Next Charlie and Mouse try to earn some money by selling rocks. Neither the elderly brown lady nor the interracial gay couple are in the market, but they do need rocks removed and will pay for the service. Mom, want it or not, gets a rock garden. Lastly, the boys create a new tradition: a bedtime banana, only to conspire after lights out that a bedtime Popsicle may be better. Snyder serves the stories with propulsive good cheer and a pleasing cadence, keeping the pages flipping, while Hughes' illustrations have crazy-quilt complexity and visual texture. A top-notch early reader, with words and art in perfect step. (Early reader. 6-9)
COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
January 1, 2017
K-Gr 2-This early reader series opener offers likable characters but an underdeveloped story. Charlie and Mouse are brothers with loving parents and a diverse group of friends and neighbors. They take part in simple childhood pastimes: a neighborhood party, a money-making plan, a bedtime snack. They do everything together, from the moment they wake up in the morning until they go to sleep in the same bed at night. Snyder infuses each tale with humor, and young readers will enjoy illustrator Hughes's depictions of each character, especially the facial expressions. Repetitive language supports emergent readers looking to try chapter books. However, the first two chapters fly by without giving readers the opportunity to get to know the characters better. Early events don't always make sense; for example, there's no clear reason why the characters have a neighborhood party, and it seems anticlimactic. Charlie and Mouse appear to get along exceptionally well for two young siblings, which doesn't feel particularly realistic. The last two chapters are much more fleshed out, and readers who have taken to Charlie and Mouse will most certainly look forward to the next book in the series. VERDICT Early reader collections will benefit from this new series, especially if future volumes incorporate stronger storytelling.-Casey O'Leary, Mooresville Public Library, IN
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
PublisherChronicle Books LLC
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