Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia

Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia

A review of Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia by Tereza Vostradovská

Published on July 4, 2024

Little Mouse loves to spend quiet days sipping tea in her burrow and learning about the world through encyclopedias. But when a plant root pierces her ceiling, she feels compelled to put down the book, go out into the wider world, and document what she discovers.

Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia
Tereza Vostradovská

Milky Way Picture Books
$25.99
cloth
54pp
9781990252181

As most kids are now accustomed to finding the answers to their questions using a search engine, Little Mouse’s love for hardbound encyclopedias might require a moment’s explanation. Bygone are the days of my childhood, when volumes of general reference encyclopedias occupied an entire bookcase in the dining room. 

Once defined, primary-aged readers will be keen to follow Little Mouse’s explorations. Under the burrow, she discovers different kinds of larvae, and teaches readers how to make a herbarium. With a little trepidation, she explains the food chain, cautioning that “Nature can be cruel sometimes!”

On the forest floor, she learns more about the crucial role of ants in the ecosystem. Climbing a tree, she “notices with astonishment that, even up high, there’s a lot of life to be found.”

Tereza Vostradovská’s illustrations are highly detailed and the flora and fauna are labelled throughout. When the gerris – what I now know is the proper name for a water strider – dips his long insect leg in the pond, it makes a subtle ring in the water. In scenes as detailed as they are happy, Little Mouse tracks the minutiae of her world with a distinctive grin and a confident gait. 

First published in Czech in 2016, this English translation brings the hardcover version to a new audience. A video game and interactive version is also available in eighteen languages. From life underwater to life in the garden, kids will learn a lot within these pages.mRb

  

Meaghan Thurston is a Montreal-based arts and science writer, co-editor of the anthology With the World to Choose From: Seven Decades of the Beatty Lecture at McGill University, and mother to two budding readers.

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