Monday, February 12, 2007

Review: Babymouse: Heartbreaker

Young Babymouse is at it again--daydreaming, struggling with her locker, and trying to fit in with her peers at school.

This time, however, in the fifth installment of the Babymouse series, the Holms have thrown the worst of school indignities--the school dance--Babymouse's way.

A school dance leads to plenty of good daydreaming. Cinderella, handsome princes, makeovers, spectacular feats on the dance floor. It also leads to plenty of real life heartbreak when a Glamourmouse makeover fails and no one asks Babymouse to the dance.

Now what I really love about the Babymouse series is that Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm don't reach for the easy solutions. And, they don't pander to their audience by choosing romantic, cliched endings. Instead, an off-panel voice suggests to Babymouse that she might ask someone to the dance. And she gives it a go. And FAILS, as one might fail in real life. Then, an off-panel voice suggests she attend the dance by herself. Babymouse scratches her head and says, "Myself? I can do that?" Yes, she can and does. You go, girl! (Or, er, mouse.)

My favorite parts of the Babymouse books are always those set in school. In this Valentine's Day offering, we're told "School was not a very romantic place" and Matthew Holm's characteristic pink and black panels show glum-looking "children" getting off the bus, hands on backpack straps. Indeed. At least there's Babymouse to brighten the day. Every school library should have multiple sets.
I received Babymouse: Heartbreaker from the authors. Check out these other blog reviews:

Jen at Jen Robinson's Book Page reviews Babymouse: Heartbreaker today as well. A Fuse #8 Production beat us to it with a review in November!