Cheer Up, Mouse! by Jed Henry

Cheer Up, Mouse! is the newest book from the pretty brand-new picture book illustrator and now author, Jed Henry. I featured Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood and illustrated by Jed Henry in my roundup of new Halloween Books for 2012 and have found so many charming illustrations of faeries on his blog, as well as a very cool joint project called Ukiyoe Heroes - details at the end of the review. There is also a really great interview with Jed at Seven Impossible Things that shows how THIS artist creates a book. I am pretty naive when it comes to making art with computers, especially making art with computers and by hand, so I enjoyed seeing Jed's process. I am really enamored of Jed's illustration style and I think that Cheer Up, Mouse! has everything everything you would want in a picture book - especially one for the littlest listeners. Henry's depictions of animals are the perfect balance of realistic and humanistic. While some of the animals do smile with their mouths, their eyes, which are little black ovals (in most cases), are so expressive! Henry's palette is rich with forest greens and browns but bright with splashes of color here and there, from a purple hyacinth to the red chest of a bird. I have been immersed in Wind in the Willows of late and after a few readings of Cheer Up, Mouse! I felt like I wanted to see some clothes on the badger and a shiny motor car pulling up in the woods...

Cheer Up, Mouse! begins with a group of nine animals who notice their friend Mouse is feeling low.  We are treated to four different scenes of the friends trying to cheer Mouse up before the words even begin! Each animal takes a turn trying to make Mouse happy, sharing what makes him or her feel better with the hopes it will work on mouse. However, swimming, singing, eating grubs and tumbling down a hill just don't seem to to the job.

What finally makes Mouse feel better? You'll just have to read Cheer Up, Mouse! to find out!

PS: This very short book trailer is also very adorable and worth your time...

When I first discovered Jed Henry, I was completely enchanted by his illustrations of faeries. Hope he is working on a book about this bunch...

More books by Jed Henry

Coming this May, Jed Henry will be illustrating The Life of Ty, Lauren Myracle's new series of books about Winnie's little brother! (Winnie is the star of Myracle's Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen and Thirteen Plus One series of books.)

Finally, Jed started Ukiyoe Heroes with artist Dave Bull, who has lived in Japan for decades and is a woodblock print maker. Please visit their website to learn more (and BUY) about these very cool prints. Traditional style and production, but updated with modern pop icons, these are just too cool. I know what I'm saving my allowance for...

Source: Review Copy

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