Holm, Jennifer L. and Holm, Matthew. 2005. Babymouse: Queen of the World. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-83229-1
Babymouse dreams of being Queen of the World, but her life is not that glamorous. Her whiskers are too curly, her locker is always stuck, and the real queen of the school, Felicia Furrypaws, doesn't pay her any attention. She longs for excitement and adventure. What she does have is a best friend, Wilson the Weasel, who has been there for her since Kindergarten, a love of reading, and an enormous imagination.
When Babymouse overhears Felicia Furrypaws talking about her big sleepover, she knows she just has to be invited. Things aren't looking too promising for Babymouse, until the day their book reports are due. Felicia hasn't done hers and wants to take Babymouse's to hand in as her own. In exchange for the book report, Felicia gives Babymouse an invitation to her slumber party. Babymouse is overcome with excitement. However, she seems to have forgotten that she made plans for that same night to go over Wilson's house and watch a monster movie.
The evening of the slumber party arrives, and Babymouse heads over to Felicia's with high expectations of what is sure to be an epic night. Unfortunately, the party doesn't go anything like she thought it would. The other girls are only interested in gossiping about their classmates, putting on makeup, and watching romantic movies. And Felicia Furrypaws isn't being especially nice to her. When the girls start to make fun of Wilson, Babymouse decides she has had enough. She realizes Wilson is her true friend, and "Queen Felicia" isn't worth the effort.
Babymouse leaves the party and makes it to Wilson's just in time for the start of the movie. With good friends, exciting books, and yummy cupcakes, Babymouse understands that she is already a queen, the queen of her own world.
Babymouse: Queen of the World is a funny and engaging graphic novel that is geared towards children ages 7-10. Young readers will fall in love with the sassy Babymouse and will surely relate to her desire to have a more exciting and glamorous life. Her crazy imagination, which takes her to outer space, the wild west, Frankenstein's lab, and the story of Cinderella (Babymouserella), will both delight and amuse readers everywhere.
The Holms siblings have a unique style to their writing. Babymouse is constantly experiencing what she perceives to be injustices, and her response is always the same; "Typical." She has a running commentary to the action the narrator is describing, and this allows the reader to really get inside her head and understand what she is feeling.
However, I believe it is the illustrations that make this graphic novel so appealing. The characters are drawn in a cartoon-like manner, and the color scheme is made up solely of black, white, and pink - reminiscent of Hilary Knight's illustrations in Eloise. The scenes that show what Babymouse is imagining are full of pink, while the scenes that depict her reality are mostly black and white. The expressions on Babymouse's face are so clear, the reader can easily recognize her emotions without help from the text. The drawings are so enchanting that it would be easy for readers to get lost in Babymouse's world.
This was actually the first graphic novel I've ever read; I never had the desire to pick one up before. Babymouse: Queen of the World helped open my eyes to this wonderful genre. When my 7 year old daughter, who has an affinity for pink, saw this book on the counter, she quickly grabbed it and insisted we read it together. If you are looking for a fun and quick read to share with your children, I highly recommend Babymouse. This book is actually the first of many, and, as of April 14, 2015, there are 19 books in this series. And as I sit here writing this review, my daughter is impatiently waiting to go to the library to get more Babymouse books.
2006 ALA Notable Children's Book (This was the first graphic novel ever to make this list.)
2006 Gryphon Award Honor Book
2006 New York Book Show Award
From BOOKLIST - "The Holms spruce up some well-trod ground with breathless pacing and clever flights of Babymouse's imagination, and their manic, pink-toned illustrations of Babymouse and her cohorts vigorously reflect the internal life of any million-ideas-a-minute middle-school student."
From KIRKUS REVIEWS - "Young readers will happily fall in line to follow Babymouse through ordinary pratfalls ('Typical.' is her watchword) and extraordinary flights of fancy - both of which continue in Babymouse: Our Hero."
From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "Jennifer Holm (Our Only May Amelia) and her brother Matthew Holm, a graphic designer, make an incursion on Captain Underpants territory with these comic books about a girl mouse...The Holms make humorous allusions to novels and movies, and interject sympathetic remarks from an offstage narrator. This personable, self-conscious mouse, with her penchant for pink hearts, resembles Kevin Henkes's Lilly, with some extra years of grade-school experience."
Continue reading the Babymouse series to learn more about Babymouse's adventures. The next three books are:
- Holm, Jennifer L. and Holm, Matthew. Babymouse #2: Our Hero. ISBN 978-0-375-83230-7
- Holm, Jennifer L. and Holm, Matthew. Babymouse #3: Beach Babe. ISBN 978-0-375-83231-4
- Holm, Jennifer L. and Holm, Matthew. Babymouse #4: Rock Star. ISBN 978-0-375-83232-1
Visit the series website with your students. There are games, activities, videos, and information about the authors. www.babymouse.com
Babymouse loves to eat cupcakes. If you have access to a kitchen, bake cupcakes with your students. Remember to check the ingredients to be sure they are safe for your students with food allergies to eat.
Throughout the story, Babymouse drifts off into several fantasies. Discuss these fantasies with your students, and ask them to identify the real events that triggered them.
Have your students try to write and illustrate a cartoon, in the style of Babymouse. Have them use only the colors they think are needed to enhance the story.