Friday, May 05, 2006

Babymouse is BACK!

It's the last day of school and Babymouse is dreaming of the ocean. She's a beach babe! A mermouse! Well, not really, but at least she's free for the summer and going to the beach for vacation with her family.

Babymouse tries everything at the beach--surfing, diving, building sandcastles, sunbathing. But in the end she's lonely without a friend. A parental unit suggests she play with her little brother Squeak and she does but soon becomes annoyed by his toddler ways (Squeak smashes the sandcastle, splashes Babymouse).

One night the family is watching fireworks over the pier. Mom asks, "What's wrong, Babymouse?" and Babymouse replies, "There's no one here for me to play with." Squeak's heart breaks (and in a wonderful graphic panel, the heart on Squeak's coverall bursts) and he runs away. Babymouse sets off in a frantic search for her little brother and when she finds him she says, "Please, Squeak. You can't run away. Who else can I have fun with?" Squeak is thrilled.

The Babymouse series is the project of writer Jennifer L. Holm and illustrator-brother, Matthew Holm. Babymouse is an exuberant, funny daydreamer and her adventures result in good-natured hilarity. In Babymouse: Beach Babe, I particularly enjoyed the scene in which she had to clean out her school locker on the last day of school. In the locker are: "a stale cupcake, lost homework, a dirty gym suit, a science experiment, a frog, a flute, an overdue library book, an old lunch, a meteor, aliens, troublesome gnomes, King Tut's sarcophagus, etc., etc."

Perhaps because I have my own Babymouse and Squeak (with the same approximate age difference and hero-worship), I loved Babymouse: Beach Babe. Be sure to check out the Babymouse webpage. There's a fun pac-man type game (involving the dread locker), comic pages to write, and even an "interactive adventure."


In the interest of full disclosure, I also received a thrilling gift from the Holms.