Riikka Jantti, translated by Lola Rogers, Little Mouse Helps Out, Scribe, 3 April 2017, 40pp., $17.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925321876
Little Mouse is excited. Today is the day his friend is coming over to play. But as Mummy Mouse knows, first the chores need to be done. That’s all right though – when you’re a toddler, everything is an adventure.
Little Mouse Helps Out is a gentle tale about the day in the life of Little Mouse and his mother. Small moments of tension reflect the ups and downs of the everyday – an overzealous squeeze of the tomato sauce bottle, a friend playing with your little one’s special teddy – but Mummy Mouse has it all under control.
While this book was too young for my six year old, we did have fun guessing what was going to happen next – though we were wrong each time. We expected the worst, yet ordinary life prevailed. There are no lessons to be learnt, nor morals to be taught in this book, just a look at life with an independent toddler. That is, an independent toddler with a very patient mother.
Hailing from Finland, this is author/illustrator Riikka Jantti’s second picture book. Her retro ink and watercolour images give the story a classic feel. Little Mouse Helps Out is recommended for ages 1 to 4.
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens