Don and Audrey Wood's The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
Children's book review by Sarah Denslow
Mouse vs. Narrator for the Red, Ripe Strawberry
Oh, the red, ripe strawberry. The little mouse wants it. The big, hungry bear wants it. And just maybe, the narrator wants it...
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear is a tale that for the very young is about saving a red, ripe strawberry from being eaten by a big hungry bear. For the slightly older, it’s a tale of tricking a little mouse into sharing a freshly picked strawberry by making up a story of a big, hungry bear.
Although the big, hungry bear never actually makes an appearance in the book, the narrator tells the little mouse, who has just picked a red, ripe strawberry, just how impossible it is too keep the bear from eating such a delicious treat.
In fact, there’s only one way in the whole wide world to save a red, ripe strawberry from the big, hungry bear: it must be eaten by the mouse and the narrator. Yum!
The story is full of repetition (guess which words get repeated a lot) and contains superb illustrations. Wood’s drawings are full of wonderful details of the mouse’s house, a kind of mouse-sized cottage, complete with tea table and candles.
Furnishings that appear on one page don’t just disappear on subsequent pages, but can be found moved or thrown aside as the mouse attempts to save his red, ripe strawberry. You can even find the knife the mouse eventually uses to cut the strawberry in half hanging in the kitchen before it’s taken out.
Because the illustrations are so beautiful and so detailed, I recommend getting the full sized book, rather than the board-book (unless your child is still at an age where eating books is just as appealing as reading them). I have yet to get tired of the drawing of the disguised strawberry sitting at a table in glasses having tea with the mouse, and, believe me, I’ve read this book a lot.
(At least ten times this morning alone.)
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is one of my personal favorite books, and, considering all the children whom I’ve read it to have loved it, it could quickly become one of your child’s favorites as well.
Read more of Sarah's reviews.
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