Mina cover
Mina by Matthew Forsythe

By Matthew Forsythe
Paula Wiseman Books / Simon & Schuster, 2022
68 pages

Ages 4-8

“Mina lived in her own little world where nothing ever bothered her. Except for one thing.” That “thing” is the latest surprise her naively optimistic father brings home: a “squirrel.” But as Mina—and readers—can clearly see, it’s a cat. Since Mina and her father are mice, this is a problem from Mina’s perspective, but her dad is absolutely convinced the big, bushy-tailed creature is a squirrel. The cat is always watching them—the tension building—yet everything really is fine, just like Mina’s father said it would be, until the “squirrel” stops eating. Concerned, Mina’s father brings home two more “squirrels”; they don’t eat either. Her father calls the doctor, who identifies the problem right away: “these squirrels are definitely cats.” It turns out they’re definitely hungry, too. A dramatic chase in which the cats pursue Mina, her father, and the doctor ends with a surprising and hilarious twist in this smartly funny story. The spare narrative with its abundance of wry understatement is paired with expressive watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations in a warm palette to tell a singular tale that also stands out for its handsome bookmaking, with heavy paper, elegant typography and clean design. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center