The first memory Carlo the Mouse can recall is that of the tantalizing scent of Italian cooking. Born in the basement of a hospital, he is privy to the smells of the kitchen, and this shapes his life and his dreams.
Anxious to get to the heart of where those delicious smells are coming from, he is a constant source of frustration to his parents. Always with the questions, always wanting to travel to unknown places and eat the food there.
Finally, to the relief of the entire family, Carlo is old enough to explore on his own. But first, his parents sit him down and tell him The Rules. There are things he can and cannot do, all of which are important in order for him to make it back home with his life intact.
Will Carlo listen to his parents? They are afraid he won’t remember, but they have to let him go. Some things have to be learned on a personal level, and not second-hand. All they can do is hope, and leave a light on.
Another gem from Mrs. D.! This is the first in a series of several books, and the titles of those are just as intriguing as this one. The interchange between the characters goes beyond just rules and regulations. Even small children will see just how caring and loving this family is with each other. There are definitely different personalities, and conflicts, as in every family. Carlo’s is one that answers those challenges with love and firmness.
The pictures are adorable! Every facial expression, every nuance of action, is so well-thought-out. The colors are appealing, and the story’s lesson is simple enough for even the youngest of readers.
There is a challenge here in some of the vocabulary used in the book. I welcome that. The youngsters who get this story read to them are privileged in this regard, for they can learn new words and what they mean. A child whose vocabulary is extended beyond his or her comfort zone is a child who will learn and grow into an intelligent adult.
I highly recommend this story, and hope that I will get the chance to read more of Carlo’s adventures.