A Trip To The Bottom Of The World With Mouse
written and illustrated by Frank Viva
2012 (Toon Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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Mouse is not a happy traveler. He is on a ship traveling to Antarctica with his owner, a young boy, and all he can think about is going home. The waves make it hard to do anything. The cold means you have to wears extra layers of clothing. All Mouse can do is ask "Can we go home now?". Off the coast, Mouse's friend sees several species of penguins. Traveling on a dinghy, the boy sees a whale as Mouse announces several different things that whales can do. An unexpected turn takes the duo to a submerged volcano where they can swim in thermal waters. On their way home, Mouse asks a surprising question that doesn't involve going home.
A Trip To The Bottom Of The World With Mouse is a fiction graphic novel on a first grade level that contains a surprising amount of information about Antarctica. Frank Viva based this book on his own travels to the cold continent. I think this book would be a great choice to include in a unit on Antarctica or in a unit on penguins. It also works in the realm of fiction where we read books to find out more about ourselves. Mouse, like many of us, just wants to have the comforts of his surroundings and not to have to face the unknown. We can talk to children about experiences they have had where they were nervous at the beginning only to find out that everything turned out okay. Vivas also includes a few situations where readers can make predictions using their prior knowledge. I appreciate how you have to turn the page before you see the answer of the character. As a teacher, this makes my life easier. The illustrations are engaging which makes this book a trip worth taking for an easy reader.