What if a mouse was stirring on Christmas Eve?
Corderoy’s text opens with lines from “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” but it quickly shifts to tell quite a different tale: “On that night before Christmas, / dear reader, you see, / there was one little mouse / as awake as could be.” Sadly, this stirring Mouse is lonesome on Christmas Eve, so he makes a wish on the star at the top of a Christmas tree for a friend. No sooner does he do so than “a clatter” arises outside. There, Mouse finds Santa calling his reindeer by name to make sure they’re all accounted for after his sleigh is grounded by a storm. Santa and his team are lost, so Mouse offers to help guide them through the neighborhood to make sure all of the children receive their presents. Massini’s art makes terrific use of rich, black, nighttime skies in contrast with the white snowfall, rooftops, and landscape below, and Santa’s sleigh itself seems made of starlight as it sails through the air. Mouse’s wish is granted at the book’s end, with Santa gifting him not one but two pairs of skates—the second pair for a new friend who shared the very same wish Mouse made earlier.
If you give a mouse a friend, you get a happy ending to a new take on an old Christmas favorite.(Picture book. 3-7)