In so many ways, I was really left disappointed by King Mouse by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Dena Seiferling. While I can certainly say that I loved the illustrations and was over the moon thrilled to see that there was an absolutely beautiful fox in the story, overall it just didn’t really mean anything to me in the end. King Mouse follows a young mouse in the forest who happens upon a crown in the grass and decides to place it upon his head. Ultimately, this leads everyone into the forest to believe that the mouse is now the king as only kings wear crowns. But when other animals begin to find crowns as well and slowly start to put them on their own heads, suddenly the role of the king isn’t so luxurious anymore. And King Mouse’s once amazing and powerful position no longer represents something that puts him above the rest since now everyone has been elevated along with him.
Honestly, I think this story has a bit of merit in that it portrays a situation that might happen in a make-believe game between children. It very much matches the kind of games where one kid wants to be the best superhero and everyone else goes along with it for a while until finally, all the other kids want to be a superhero, too. But for me, this just doesn’t work as a story. It’s lackluster and it’s not really something I care to read about. And the story doesn’t really ever end in a way that leaves me feeling as though it really gives kids any insight for how to respond to situations like that.
Ultimately, I was just incredibly disappointed with the story, with how it ended. I can’t imagine myself recommending it or buying it for anyone. Really, the best part about this book truly was the artwork, but even that wasn’t enough for me to get much enjoyment out of it. And as far as a message goes, I just feel like it could have been much stronger in the long run, but missed the point by a landslide.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.