Friday, September 5, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Booklist

Miss Mousie's Blind Date

Love is in the air one spring day at the local deli when Miss Mousie notices a guy that makes her weak in the knees. Matt LaBatt, the water rat, / was such a handsome fellow! / His fur was black. His eyes were red. / His teeth were lemon yellow. Miss Mousie attempts flirting until Matt calls her fat. The despondent rodent hides away until she receives an invitation for a mystery date.

Trying to avoid more rejection, she decides to go in disguise, but after trudging through thistles, brambles, and rain, she arrives disheveled instead. Her appearance goes unnoticed by her mystery man, the tubby deli-owner mole, who, also putting vanity first, has not worn his spectacles. Over coffee and souffle, the pair agrees to be true to themselves.

The text surrounds delicate watercolor and gouache paintings reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, which add plenty of charm to this winsome rhyming tale. Pair with Carmen Agra Deedy's Martina the Beautiful Cockroach (2007) for another lesson in true love from wise animals.

--Leeper, Angela Copyright 2010 Booklist

BOOK REVIEW: Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Miss Mousie's Blind Date

Tim Beiser
Illustrator:  Rachel Berman
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra Books, 2012   ISBN: 978-1770492516
Every spring plants leaf out and bloom and the little woodland animals “go cuckoo for romance.”
One spring day Miss Mousie sees a fellow in the deli “who turned her knees to jelly.” He is Matt LaBatt, a very handsome water rat. Not knowing how to catch the water rat’s eye, Miss Mousie decides to try an old-fashioned move and she drops a hankie on the floor. Instead of responding by gallantly returning the hankie, the water rat makes a very rude remark that hurts poor Miss Mousie’s feelings very much. He says that she is “fat.” Devastated by this unkind remark, Miss Mousie rushes home, and she stays there because she is “Ashamed to go outside and hear what other folks might say.”
   Then one morning Miss Mousie gets an invitation from a “mystery date” who wants Miss Mousie to have dinner with him that very evening. Miss Mousie, in a tizzy, searches her house for an outfit that will disguise the fact that she rather plump. She is convinced that if her date sees her undisguised he will “flee.”
   Written in verse and accompanied by cunning and detailed illustrations, this picture book shows children that it is always wise to be yourself. With plenty of gentle humor throughout, the story demonstrates beautifully how badly things can go wrong if you try to be someone you are not.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

In Memoriam: Rachel Berman

With heavy heart, I have to report the death of my wonderful illustrator, Rachel Berman. She passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, May 28. I honestly believe that Rachel was one of the world's few true geniuses, and was so proud when she was nominated for the Governor General's Award for the two books we did together -- Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog and Miss Mousie's Blind Date. My silly storybook characters that she brought to life and her monumental paintings will last forever, as will my fond memories of her. God bless you, Rachel. My life is better for having known you.

Tim Beiser

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Little Chicken Duck" is a Best Book

Little Chicken Duck was featured in the Spring 2014 edition of "Best Books for Kids & Teens." Not only was illustrator Bill Slavin recognized for Little Chicken Duck, but for Morgan on Ice (written by Ted Staunton) and Pandemic Survival: It's Why You're Alive (written by Ann Love and Jane Drake). That's three "best books" for him this year. Congratulations, Bill!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Do you agree?

Tim Beiser was recently interviewed for an article in the Toronto Star about a study that claimed books with humanlike animals can hinder a child's ability to learn science.

Click on the image below to view, or read it on the Star web site at:

http://www.thestar.com/life/parent/2014/03/28/can_humanlike_animals_in_childrens_books_hinder_a_child_ability_to_learn_science.html


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BOOK REVIEW -- Canadian Children's Book News


Tales of Fins, Feathers and Fur: Four notable Picture Books


by Senta Ross
Canadian Children's Book News
Spring 2014

What makes stories about animals so popular? Is it because they teach us about survival and life's lessons, or is it because they move us and lead us to contemplate love and devotion? Perhaps we see ourselves reflected in them. Here are four notable picture books about creatures, great and small, which are certain to entertain, educate and cause one to ponder.

What could be more embarrassing for a duckling than to be afraid of water? After confiding her distress to a benevolent frog, Little Chicken Duck is introduced to a variety of forest birds who divulge their own fears to her. So, we meet an owl spooked by the dark, a lark inhibited in her singing, a robin ruffled into discomfort by the rain, a cockoo with a dread of heights, quails intimidated by snails, and an eagle who cowers from lightning. With frankness these creatures also share how they have managed to conquer their peculiar phobias. Buoyed by their encouragement, Little Chicken Duck finally takes the plunger, loves it and becomes the recipient of a surprising confession from her mentor, the frog.

Author Tim Beiser has composed a rollicking poetic text that will be a joy to either read aloud or listen to. The back-and-forth conversation between the frog and the duckling is clever and energetic: "Ah, but nothing can be better," said our frog, "than getting wetter / Splashing 'round a forest pool is cool I think!" / Peeped the duckling, "No, it's scary! And I'm very, very wary. / I'm afraid that if I wade in, I will sink."

Using acrylic paint on gessoed paper, illustrator Bill Slavin brings forth a collection of memorable characters, each with its distinctive attributes and dispositions portrayed from a variety of perspectives. Young readers will be caught up in their playful antics and may identify with the creatures' trepedations, thereby realizing that they are not alone hen facing their ordinary human fears. ...

[to read the entire review, please visit www.bookcentre.ca]

Sunday, December 8, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Little Chicken Duck an "Irresistible Choice"

CM MAGAZINE
The Manitoba Library Association
Vol XX Number 14
December 6, 2013

Little Chicken Duck.
Tim Beiser. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2013. 24 pp., hardcover, $19.99.ISBN 978-1-77049-392-6. Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Reesa Cohen.
**** /4

... Beiser is no stranger to creating delightful spirited rhyming texts in children's stories that, at their heart, have a worthwhile lesson suitable to a young reader. Facing one's fears could lead to worthwhile classroom discussions. As in his previous books Miss Mousie's Blind Date and Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog, the rhythmic poetic verse simply flows, if read aloud.
     Award-winning illustrator Bill Slavin does this charming tale justice, with delightful artwork rendered in acrylics on gessoed paper. Enchanting perspectives, rich colour, and lively action, all add to the comical retelling of each bird's version of fear. The playfulness of both text and images makes Little Chicken Duck an irresistible choice for both school and home.

Highly Recommended.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. To read the full review, please visit http://www.umanitoba.ca/outreach/cm/vol20/no14/littlechickenduck.html

Monday, November 25, 2013

BOOK LAUNCH: "Little Chicken Duck"

You lucky ducks, Little Chicken Duck is on the way! 

You are cordially invited to attend the launch party for author Tim Beiser and illustrator Bill Slavin's newest children's book, "Little Chicken Duck" -- a lovingly illustrated, heartwarming tale in rhyme about facing childhood fears. Come meet the creative team and get a first look at this vibrant, beautifully produced book.

DATE: Sunday, December 1

TIME: 1pm to 3pm



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MISS MOUSIE -- The Exhibition!


Did you know Miss Mousie's Blind Date is a work of art? Actually it's about 30 works of art! Come to Toronto's Ingram Gallery on Saturday, April 6, between 2 and 4pm, for a special Miss Mousie book event, and see the original illustrations painted by the astounding Rachel Berman. Author Tim Beiser and illustrator Rachel Berman will both be on hand to sign books. The whole family (especially the kids) are welcome, and all the Miss Mousie paintings will be on sale.

The Ingram Gallery is located at 49 Avenue Road in Toronto (at Hazelton Lanes). "Bay" and "Museum" are the nearest subway stations. Phone 416-929-2220 for more information.



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review -- Quill & Quire Magazine

Miss Mousie's Blind Date

Quill & Quire Magazine

January 2013
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson

... Beiser’s playful rhymes ferry us merrily along to the tale’s satisfying resolution. Realizing they’re both pretending to be something they’re not, Miss Mousie calls a truce, which the mole accepts on bended knee, proposing, “If you’ll be you, then I’ll be me.”

Beiser and illustrator Rachel Berman previously collaborated on the equally enchanting Governor General’s Literary Award finalist Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog. Once again, Berman’s formally attired creatures, their delicate hands and oversized heads rendered in muted tones, show Beatrix Potter’s influence in the best possible way. This is an utterly charming book and a gentle introduction to the lifelong perils of spring fever.

To read the complete review, go to:
http://www.quillandquire.com/books_young/review.cfm?review_id=7861

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CanLit for Little Canadians calls Miss Mousie "a charmed read"

This is from the Canlit for Little Canadians Web site, posted December 4, 2012:
... Tim Beiser and Rachel Berman's first collaboration, Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog (Tundra, 2009), resulted in nominations for the Blue Spruce Award, the Chocolate Lily Book Award, the Governor General's Award for Children's Fiction Illustration, and the CBA Libris Award for Children's Picture Book of the Year. And the same sweet rhyming and endearing illustrations are evident in Miss Mousie's Blind Date, making it another charmed read. ...
The perfect collaboration of Tim Beiser and Rachel Berman takes Miss Mousie from crushing on the handsome rat to despairing over his disregard for her and finally to delight, with an ending that will please even those too young to know the pangs of first love but will understand the value of being oneself.
To read the full review, click HERE

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thanks, Washington Post!

The Washington Post recommends that you put a copy of Miss Mousie's Blind Date under your Christmas tree this year!


Christmas presents for the kids on your list


Marguerite Kelly
Family Almanac
Washington Post
Published December 4, 2012
...

For young readers

Some children are so besotted by words that they keep journals and read under the covers with a flashlight, so give them a grand game called Wordsearch! (Goliath, $25) and as many books, new or used, that you can afford.

“Caldecott Favorites” (Scholastic Storybook Treasures, $25) is a set of three DVDs that features 20 award-winning stories. It will not only entertain a 2-year-old but also give his big sister a chance to read these stories at the same time that the narrator reads them.

“Miss Mousie’s Blind Date” by Tim Beiser (Tundra, $18) will charm a preschooler, and “No Kiss for Mother,” a classic written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer (Phaidon, $17), will resonate with any child whose mother smothers him with kisses. ...

(to read the full article, go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/advice/christmas-presents-for-the-kids-on-your-list/2012/12/03/908a91ce-37dc-11e2-a263-f0ebffed2f15_story.html )



Friday, October 12, 2012

The Manitoba Library Association Recommends "Miss Mousie"

From CM Magazine, Volume XIX, Number 5, published October 5, 2012

... Miss Mousie’s Blind Date is an adorable story of mouse love, with a quirky, dramatic main character that children will find funny. Miss Mousie is clumsy and insecure, but she has a big heart and an even bigger personality. The sentence structure is wonderful with smooth rhymes to be found within the sentences as well as at the end. The story rolls off the tongue, and is not too complex, or too long, to engage a child from start to finish.
      Berman’s illustrations are adorable, in a classic muted colour scheme style reminiscent of Frog and Toad. There is a lot to look at in each image, and the illustrations help add visual support to the story being told. There are some longer blocks of text, and the illustrations help give focus to these pages.
      I believe children will appreciate the whole package this story offers. Matt LaBatt may never get his comeuppance, but that is realistic, and our sense of justice is satisfied with the ultimate love connection. The moral may not be as well articulated as it is in many children's stories, but at least it inspires discussion.
Recommended.

Read the full review by Amber Allen HERE

Monday, October 1, 2012

You're Invited to a BOOK LAUNCH!

Tundra Books invites you to celebrate the launch of Miss Mousie's Blind Date, the second book from the award-winning author/illustrator team, Tim Beiser and Rachel Berman.

Saturday, October 20, 2012
2:00 to 4:00 pm
Ben McNally Books
366 Bay Street, Toronto
(416) 361-0032

ALL ARE WELCOME -- ESPECIALLY CHILDREN!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Miss Mousie’s Blind Date will receive a STARRED review in the October 1st issue of Kirkus!!


MISS MOUSIE'S BLIND DATE [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: Beiser, Tim
Illustrator: Berman, Rachel
Review Issue Date: October 1, 2012
Online Publish Date: September 15, 2012
Spring fever strikes even the rodents. And who knows where the heart leads?
"Spring is such a funny thing—it wakes up all the plants / And makes our furry woodland friends go cuckoo for romance." Indeed. One day, when Miss Mousie is shopping at the mole's deli, her heart stops at the sight of rakish Matt LaBatt (the water rat), who looks suave (and très Français) in striped shirt and kerchief. She can barely speak...or squeak. "Her little legs went weak." When she drops her hankie to catch his attention, Matt calls her fat, which brings tears to her eyes and sends her to bed for a day. What brings her out of sadness is an anonymous invitation to dinner; of course she knows just who it is! She dresses to the nines, and all the animals applaud her as she walks excitedly to her date. But the would-be suitor is not Matt the water rat; it's the kind mole who owns the deli. He tries all manner of slick techniques to woo her, and they fall comically flat. But in the end, he pledges to be himself if she will do the same. Her reply? "Oui-oui." Beiser's sprightly text has warmth, heart and a valuable lesson. Berman's pictures, in watercolor and gouache on rag, suggest Beatrix Potter, ably matching the crisp elegance of the story. Wonderful. 
(Picture book. 5-8)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BOOK REVIEW


Canadian Picture Books
from Canadian Literature: a Quarterly of Criticism and Review
Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog. Tundra Books
Reviewed by Judith Saltman

Tim Beiser (Author) and Rachel Berman (Illustrator)


Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog is a paperback issue of a 2008 publication. Beiser’s comic verse in rhyming couplets and catchy rhythm begs to be read aloud in this classic anthropomorphized animal fable of a hungry frog’s journey through his animal friends’ culinary tastes and talents, with the final return home and realization that his taste for his bog bugs is just right. Usually slightly nonsensical stories are matched by cartoon art. Berman’s fine draughtsmanship, however, is a comic realism blended with fine realist imagery and sets the tale in a British fantasy world of Edwardian clothing, class, and behaviour. The style recalls early twentieth-century classic children’s books with finely realized Beatrix Potteresque detail and echoes of the shadowy fields and woods of Arthur Rackham.

From http://canlit.ca/reviews/canadian_picture_books , accessed  24 Apr. 2012.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Miss Mousie's Blind Date is coming soon

Tundra Books has scheduled Tim Beiser's next book, Miss Mousie's Blind Date, for release this fall on October 9, 2012.

It's the tale of Miss Mousie, a shy and sensitive creature, who suffers a blow to her self-esteem when Matt LaBatt the water rat has the nerve to call her fat! While pining at home, she receives a mysterious invitation in the mail -- some unnamed gentleman has invited her out on a date. But who is it? Dare she go? Will he laugh at the way she looks? In a fit of inspiration, Miss Mousie hatches a clever plan.

Bradley McGogg illustrator Rachel Berman has once again brought Tim's fantasy woodland creatures to vibrant life in charming watercolors certain to bring laughter and even a few tears to children and their parents.

Miss Mousie's Blind Date can be pre-ordered right now on Amazon.com.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bradley McGogg on
"The Marilyn Denis Show"

Heather Feldstein, founder of WordsByMom.com - a wonderful website showcasing children's books -- recently visited "The Marilyn Denis Show" on Toronto's CTV, for a discussion focusing on "The Best Children's Books You've Never Heard Of." Heather told Marilyn about a variety of wonderful books on a variety of themes -- friendship & relationships, individuality & being different, and imagination & creativity. For information about a wide range of children's books, visit www.WordsByMom.com


(Video description courtesy of YouTube.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Words By Mom


Here's a wonderful review of Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog from WordsByMom.com :

I love, love, love this book and so do my kids! A rhyming picture book that’s written so beautifully, that it appeals to everyone. My kids love the rhymes and I love the rich vocabulary of the text. The story is about a frog named Bradley, who is out of food and quite hungry. He goes around to different neighbours, asking for food. They are all very generous, but the other animals don’t exactly have the same pallet as a frog.

Bradley quickly learns that everyone’s tastes are different. This story teaches kids to appreciate others’ personal tastes and opinions, and that not everyone likes the same thing. I recommend this book to everyone! The message is subtle and you can generate so much discussion from this book. This is truly a picture book like no other. It reads like a classic and looks like a classic. In my opinion, this book certainly has the makings of a true classic! A must read book to treasure!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review: The Victoria Times Colonist

A well-travelled mouse 
Other notable picture books released this fall 
 By Patricia Coppard, Victoria Times Colonist
December 10, 2011 3:08 AM

 Back in paperback:

 Bradley McGogg The Very Fine Frog
 By Tim Beiser, illustrated by Rachel Berman
 Tundra Books, $9.99

 This lovely tale, whose delightful watercolour illustrations by Victoria's Berman made the shortlist for the 2009 Governor General's awards, is back in paperback, a veritable word feast with superb rhyme. And it's about a picky eater - who can't relate to that?

 © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
 Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/well+travelled+mouse/5841824/story.html#ixzz1g9AaUVDK