Thursday, February 2, 2012

All About the Babymouse Series

Here is what I learned after reading several Babymouse titles:

First of all, Babymouse is not a baby. I honestly wish I'd paid more attention and picked up on that fact sooner, because it would have made me much more interested in reading this series. As it turns out, Babymouse is in middle school and has a bit of a middle school attitude. She dislikes school, has an active imagination, and frequently spouts the pessimistic phrase, "Typical," when something doesn't go her way. She reminds me of AJ from the Weird School books and even a little bit of Junie B. Jones. I understand now why she's so popular.

The illustrations in the Babymouse books are somewhat similar to those in the Fashion Kitty series in that they are entirely pink and black. From what I can gather, though, the pinkness of the books doesn't turn off boy readers. In fact, I think Babymouse's attitude and the graphic format of the books draws in boy readers, especially reluctant ones.

The narrator is a character in each book. As in Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh, the narrator tells the story and also interacts with Babymouse, arguing with her and sometimes poking fun at her in a somewhat ironic tone. Because of this relationship with the narrator, I kept thinking of Babymouse as a grown-up version of the mouse in the The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big, Hungry Bear. The tone is very similar.

Whereas the Fashion Kitty books are more about girl power, Babymouse is more about relating universal middle school experiences in a funny way. In that sense, the series compares well to Amelia Rules, where the characters also use their imaginations to combat life's difficulties. Funny visual gags really add to the universal appeal and make the mundane seem interesting and adventurous.

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