It’s Christmas and all Babymouse wants is her two front…no, wait…A Whizz-Bang! She’s positive it’ll be the best present ever. After all it “plays video games and movies, it texts, sees into the future, folds laundry, and does homework!” Now if only it can help her survive Secret Santa time at school.
Babymouse #15: A Very Babymouse Christmas
Story by Jennifer L. Holm; Art by Matthew Holm
Ages: 7-10; Grades 2-5
Random House, September 2011, ISBN 978-0-375-86779-8
96 pages, $6.99
Even at fifteen volumes (and counting), the Holms sibling’s titular mouse is still adorable. As typical for a Babymouse story, wacky things happen, lockers misbehave, the narrator is slightly snarky, and Babymouse learns an important lesson. But what has made the Babymouse books so popular is that even as Babymouse is learning her lesson, her readers don’t feel that they are being lectured. Babymouse’s mistakes and occasional tendency to overreach are familiar, mostly because everyone will remember similar incidents from their own lives.
That is especially true in this Christmas volume. This is not a retelling of It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol or even The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, as too many Christmas issues of serial works tend to be. (Though those familiar tropes are explored via Babymouse’s vivid imagination.) Instead the Holms have Babymouse learn a simple lesson: “sometimes the best gift is one you didn’t even know you wanted.” The truth in this statement is what gives this volume heart and makes it so realistic. And with gentle humor, deceptively simple art, and friendly, believable characters, Babymouse gives us yet another reason to enjoy the Christmas season and the work of this delightful series.
Merry Christmas and happy reading!
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Random House.