cover image Mouse & Giraffe

Mouse & Giraffe

Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Jen Corace. Viking, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-46503-5

Neighbors Giraffe and Mouse learn the art of appreciating another’s perspective in this humorous look at empathy. Though they meet each morning at their mailboxes for tea and a chat, neighbors Giraffe and Mouse can’t see eye to eye on anything—literally. In an early exchange, tall Giraffe, whose head rises high into the sunny sky, remarks that it’s hot outside, while tiny mouse, whose shorter stature keeps him covered by Giraffe’s shadow, notes “it’s quite comfortable.” The end result—as happens most days about most experiential topics—is a parting shout-off (“ ‘Hot!’ said Giraffe./ ‘Not!’ said Mouse”). But when Mouse doesn’t show up at the mailbox, and a worried Giraffe discovers Mouse sick in bed, all their bickering is forgotten as Giraffe steps up to care for his friend. Gouache, ink, and pencil artwork from Corace (House Finds a Home) and play-by-play text by DiPucchio (Oona) spotlight the protagonists’ differing points of view, though fall short of conveying the two truly grasping one another’s experience. But the characters’ cozy-looking neighborhood brims with charming details, including vining blooms and intricate stained glass, and the figures cut stylish figures in appropriately sized shorts, slickers, and sweaters. Ages 3–7. Agent (for DiPucchio and Corace): Steven Malk, Writers House. (July)