Nothing says love like a burnt cake: CHARLIE & MOUSE EVEN BETTER (Cybils nominee)

๐ŸŽผ Making your way through your Cybils TBR, takes everything you’ve got… ๐ŸŽถ

Fortunately, a heartwarming and funny book Laurel Snyder’s CHARLIE & MOUSE EVEN BETTER sure does help a lot!

Okay, done with the 80s puns.

Close-in-age siblings Charlie and Mouse are back in number three of Laurel Snyder’s award-winning early chapter book series.

Told in episodic and easily digestible stories that could almost stand alone, Charlie, Mouse, and their dad plan their mom’s birthday. They have a lot of heart, but all the execution skills of two boys of early chapter book reader age.

It’s a stretch to say hilarity ensues, but the punchlines and (age appropriate) dramatic irony are there. “Get Mom some flowers” becomes “dig up all the flowers in the yard”; the boys want to get their mom a pretty trinket box but nix the idea because they know they’d just snoop in it (they get her some nice tape instead).

Each chapter ends on a funny note, with a manageable disaster that left this mom cringing but chuckling.

The stories are, according to the author bio, not exactly true, but not exactly untrue either. As a parent, they’re a lot funnier when it’s someone else’s house/kids.

But the love the family has for each other shines through in every page.

It might be a caveat for some, but I loved this:

I didn’t read the first book, so Mouse’s gender is ambiguous (due to his name and longer hair). Whether or not illustrator Emily Hughes intended that or not isn’t clear, but lends appeal to brother/sister sibling groups as well.

CHARLIE & MOUSE EVEN BETTER is out now from Chronicle Books.

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