Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mahalia Mouse goes to college, by John Lithgow - review

Mahalia Mouse Goes to College is the latest from celebrity children's book author John Lithgow. John Lithgow makes it look easy, with consistently decent books accompanied by fun CDs.

In this one, Mahalia Mouse loses her way while out foraging for food for her infant siblings, and ends up at Harvard University (not spelled-out in the text, but obvious from the illustrations. Lithgow dedicates the book to the Harvard class of 2005, for whom he recited the then-unpublished book as their commencement speaker).

She completes her degree, along the way participating in such extra-curriculars as campus theatricals and fencing, and is reunited with her family at graduation (as are we all). The cover illustration, of Mahalia with her tiny laptop, is especially winsome. Mahalia reminds me of Willow (if Willow were brown, and may I say - bonus! a protagonist of color in a book that's not about civil rights or city life!).

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