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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Without intending to place too much emphasis on the weighty message embedded in No More Cheese!, her book for very young children, writer/artist Colette Ivanov may just take the prize for subtlety and simplicity in conveying to the youngest of impressionable minds a multi-layered message for the ages. Okay, that was weighty. This then: Millie the mouse is tired of eating cheese. Not whiney-complainy tired. Just fed up. '“I can not take it,” she said out loud. “My menu has to change.”' So, she makes a plan. She will try one item from the plate of each member of the human family with whom she secretly lives. And, were all this to end with Millie stealing food, thus ending her culinary boredom, a cute story would be had. But I mentioned subtlety and simplicity.
In No More Cheese! Collette Ivanov introduces us to a very classy mouse. Millie does not steal food. She samples and appreciates it, and then replaces every morsel with an equal share of cheese. And then she leaves a note, expressing her appreciation. She does not intrude. She is polite and fastidious about exchanging value for equal value. In consequence, the family members are quite delighted to know about their secret “guest,” and they are eager to make her acquaintance. Their “unanimous appeal” entails an ending that, according to a world-famous economist, results in a Pareto optimal solution. If that ain’t weighty, I don’t know what is. But while you’re teaching your little child the beauty of such weighty ways, don’t forget to enjoy the illustrations. They are terrific too!