I have heard a lot about Babymouse, mostly from one Colby Sharp. I had hesitated to dip my toes into that water, though. It seemed too juvenile, too girly, too. . .princessy, for lack of a better term. But Jennifer Holm is visiting Ann Arbor this week, and I couldn’t go to her talk without having read at least one Babymouse book.
Holy cow. I wish I had checked out all of them.
Quite frankly, I am in awe of this book. It starts out by introducing us to Babymouse, your typical pre-teen in that she is pretty certain that she is atypical. She wants more from her life than the same ol’, same ol’ every day (even though she wears only one outfit — apparently irony is not lost on Jennifer Holm, but is on Babymouse). She doesn’t seem to know how to shake things up, though.
But oh! If she could be friends with Felicia Furrypaws, it would all be different. The adventures they’d have! The fun that her life would become! And Felicia Furrypaws is having a sleepover party this weekend! THATWILLBEPERFECT! Babymouse makes some interesting choices to get invited to the party. To see how that goes, you’ll have to read it yourself.
Back to me being in awe of this book. The story is amazing (and has an awesome message for pre-teen girls), but the beauty is in the details. Books are clearly valued as treasures, but that’s never said aloud. True friendship is much more important than popularity, but nobody speaks those words. Being yourself is way better than being someone else, but nobody says that, either. All of these messages are imparted in the telling of the story, with no “moral of the story” type ending. That would be too cheesy for Babymouse. [Sorry; I know that cheese/mouse line was a stretch.]
Really, I think everyone should read this book. It’s quick (I think it took me about 20 minutes or so — shorter than it took to write this review), it’s hilarious, and it has a great message. 3rd grade is probably the right age to introduce this book, though I could be wrong about that (I really don’t know lower elementary). I loved this book, and I think you will, too.
Oh, and did I mention it’s a graphic novel? I didn’t? Well, that’s a pretty important part. And it’s very well done.