New House For Mouse

Children - Social Issues
28 Pages
Reviewed on 02/05/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite

New House for Mouse by Fynisa Engler and Ryan Law is a picture book about foster care, learning to adapt, and being comfortable with difficult emotions. Mouse misses his mother when he goes to live at Mama Bunny’s foster home. His mood worsens when breakfast is a plate of veggies, rather than his usual morning pancakes. Soon, though, other children in the house reach out to ask Mouse to be their friend, and he learns that they miss their families too. Together, Mama Bunny and the other children help make Mouse feel welcome by enjoying his favorite breakfast and sharing their favorites. While he enjoys his new home, Mouse still misses his mom, and he realizes that this is okay.

I was already excited to read New House for Mouse when I saw that the illustrator was Ryan Law, who has contributed to other top-notch picture books. His work in this book, along with Fynisa Engler’s masterful writing, exceeded my expectations. I appreciated that this book did not speak down to children about the emotions that come with foster care. While Mouse learns to make new friends and feels loved, he still misses his mother and struggles to warm up to new experiences. There are also sections of the book where I momentarily forgot that the story was about foster homes because the characters were enjoying the interaction with one another and whipping up breakfast - a lovely and realistic slice of life. So many books on difficult topics either brush over the complicated feelings one might experience or stay rooted in the heavy parts of the situation in a way that may hurt rather than help children wrestling with the experience, but this one balanced both aspects perfectly. I would be happy to give this book to children, both inside and outside the foster care system.