A Trip to the Top of the Volcano With Mouse
Mouse and the traveler climb a volcano in Italy, while Mouse spends most of the time asking when they can eat pizza. The landscape around the mountain contains a variety of crops, animals, and temperatures. The child-like mouse, by making lists and asking questions, provides a welcome connection to the unusual settings.
Viva’s style is reminiscent of layered construction paper shapes, but with more detail. There are flat blocks of color that convey feeling as well as image. Here, given the setting, they’re warm, with brown, orange, and midnight blue joining the obvious red, black, and ivory. A cross-section of the volcano is included to show how complex it is, beyond simply a container of lava.
Mouse’s attempt to understand the world through enumeration is understandable as a way to reassert control in a new, scary, but amazing environment. Kids will relate. Complicated as the trip is, Mouse always ends up wanting to return, which is a feeling shared by the reader, who can enjoy this short journey over and over. (The publisher provided a review copy.)