Final Thoughts: Babymouse, Beach Babe

Are we there yet?

Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, Babymouse, Beach Babe (and every kid who ever took a road trip)

It’s summer vacation for Babymouse in Babymouse, Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. For once, it seems like she’s getting the summer family trip of her dreams – they’re hitting the beach! But, as is true for most of the things Babymouse anticipates in this series, things don’t turn out quite the way she expects.

This is the third book in the Babymouse series and it’s absolutely adorable. Babymouse’s runaway imagination is as active as ever (I especially liked her genie fantasy when she finds an abandoned bottle on the beach) and her inability to see what’s right in front of her, despite narrator help, is as strong as ever.

What I loved about this book was that while I was expecting a typical summer vacation story, probably with sunburns and realizing surfing isn’t as easy as she expected it to be, that isn’t what this book is at all. The story is actually about Babymouse’s relationship with her brother, Squeak, although Babymouse herself doesn’t realize that until almost the end of the book. And that’s what I think makes it work.

Squeak is an adorable younger brother mouse who is as eager to be like his big sister as he is annoying to her. He is there the whole time hoping for attention and begging for her to notice him, only to have it be not that fun when she does because she “plays” with him without including him. This is a common thing with siblings and Squeak’s face and body language make it very clear how he feels throughout the book. He really only ever says Babymouse’s name, but that doesn’t make his reactions to things any less obvious (to everyone but Babymouse herself).

The story is sweet and the character interactions ring true, even in the crazy anthropomorphic mice at the beach tale. It’s so sweet and I just wanted to keep giving Squeak a hug and telling him it would be ok throughout. The resolution is beautiful and, while I don’t think Babymouse and Squeak have solved all of their sibling issues, gives them a fun ending.

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