How many of my listeners remember a story with a little boy named Harold and his purple crayon? In that book and in today’s picture book the book characters draw the rest of the story as it comes to life in the pages. Instead of a little boy though two friends, Mouse and Frog, learn how to play together and make compromises as they build their world in By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman. In pencil drawings, watercolor, pastels, and more the colorful story plays out, though on the first page we see only Mouse and his pencil. Mouse starts by drawing a table, complete with a tea set. Then Frog comes bouncing in and knocks over the teapot, suddenly spilling real tea out of the line-drawn pot. Mouse would like to have a calm story, but Frog soon takes over, bouncing all over the page and mixing up every story at once. Frog’s creations take over the story and soon Mouse is yelling, “STOP!” The colors and the story blend together in quite literally a mess on the page as the two friends start the story over again, this time working together to make a world both of them can play in. Any young reader who also likes to draw will love this story and may even want to draw their own when finished.
You can get the book reviewed here and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”