Thursday, November 14, 2019

Review - Doctor Mouse

Doctor Mouse
by Christa Kempter
illustrated by Amélie Jackowski
Date: 2020
Publisher: NorthSouth Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Going to the doctor has never been so fun!

Friendly Doctor Mouse is happy to help all of his patients, but he can only see them one at a time. When the dog, hen, owl, and fox start talking to each other in the waiting room, they start to solve problems themselves. Will dog finds a new friend? Will hen lose her fear? Will fox get a new pair of glasses? This humorous story will tickle your funny bone!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is an odd story that seems to have lost something in translation.

Doctor Mouse opens up his practice every day when the sun rises. He has six chairs, and so he waits for six patients to occupy them before he begins. The animals end up solving all their problems among themselves, and Doctor Mouse gets all the credit.

While the pictures are somewhat pleasant and the overall premise isn't terrible, I'm having a hard time finding things to like. Doctor Mouse comes off a little sarcastic at one point (even though I don't necessarily think that was intended; it may be an issue of word choice with the translation), and he seems to be suffering from memory problems of his own (for example, he remembered that Mr. Bear had stomach issues, but he didn't remember that Mr. Bear was a bear and not a wolf). The fact that Doctor Mouse insists on wearing his white coat backwards like a straitjacket isn't very reassuring, either!

I thought the story might've gotten more interesting when a fox showed up, given that three of the patients were a chicken, a rabbit, and an owl. But even though danger was hinted at (the fox stated that he was hungry), nothing happened.

I'm afraid I'm having trouble finding the point of this one. The main character may have some sort of mental illness, but it's not dealt with as anything more than a device for character development. And the other animals aren't much better. I get that they're using Doctor Mouse's waiting room as a sort of support group, but I'm not clear on why Doctor Mouse needs to be there if he's not going to do anything but eat cheese and sleep.

Strange little story.

Thank you to NetGalley and NorthSouth Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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