Illustrated by Abigail Halpin
Published by Viking Books for Children
Even when you're lost in a storm, you can find home again.
The wind is your voice.
You whisper to me.
A young girl feels lost after the death of her mother. Dad tries his best to manage everything alone, but things just aren't the same. When they take a trip to their lake house, the girl longs to feel a connection to her mom, and so she takes out the small mouseboat that she and her mom built together. And somehow, in the wind and the rain, protected by the mouseboat, she finds her mother's love.
A lyrical, soothing story about new beginnings, even in the darkest times, Mouseboat is a powerful tribute to finding your way home again.
★ "With sensitivity and immediacy, this prescient picture book charts a cathartic journey through grief to hope."―Booklist, starred review
★ "Figurative language in first person pairs with abstract watercolor illustrations to make a breathtaking lyrical picture book that beautifully portrays Faye's sorrow and longing. . . . this book will remind grieving readers that loved ones are waiting for them with patience and understanding."―BCCB, starred review
★ "Grief is a complex and unpredictable experience, especially for children like Faye who have lost their mother. Life with dad is different in every way it seems, and Faye is desperate to hear her mother speak to her one more time. Though whispers come in the wind, Faye believes she will be closest to her mother on the boat they shared. But when a storm threatens her safety, Faye discovers both the strength within her and the love that awaits her on the shore. This emotional story paints grief in an honest, accessible way for children who find themselves living the unthinkable. Richly pigmented watercolor images echo the darkness consuming Faye’s heart, while intricate details incorporate images of Faye’s mother as frequently as she is in Faye’s thoughts. Limited text is used in the story, and the appearance of this text changes in response to intensity of Faye’s emotions, which adds a dynamic visual layer to the storytelling. Whether readers have experienced dramatic loss in their own lives or not, this book serves both as a cathartic journey of acceptance and as a window into feelings that can be difficult to express. VERDICT: This is an important addition to library collections for young people, especially because it focuses on the challenging emotion of grief within an approachable context." —School Library Journal, starred review
"With spare, heartfelt text, Theule invites readers into a narrating child’s deepest feelings . . . Halpin’s crisp mixed-media art depicts a lush green woodland and brilliant blue water that shimmers, roils, laps, and crashes in dramatic scenes that mimic the child’s emotional journey." —PW
"A good book to help children cope with loss and to help them discover fresh starts even during the most challenging times." —The Horn Book