Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Jon Berkeley
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Oxford Childrens, 2005   ISBN: 978-0192724564

Chopsticks the mouse lives in a floating restaurant in Hong Kong. Every night, when all is quiet, he scurries out to look for food. One New Year's night, one of the large dragon statues in the restaurant speaks to Chopsticks. He asks the mouse to free him from being a creature made of wood, for he wants to be a real dragon who can fly to far off places. If Chopsticks helps him the dragon he will take the mouse with him on his adventures.

There is only one person who knows how to turn a wooden dragon into a real one and that is Old Fu the carver. Chopsticks goes to visit the old man who gives the mouse a flute and a tune to play. If he plays to the dragon when the moon is full the dragon will be brought to life.

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, the author takes his readers on a delightful journey to a land of sampans, pagodas, and dragons. The unlikely friendship between the dragon and the mouse will charm young readers and the way in which both creatures have their dreams fulfilled is extremely gratifying.

Rich brightly colored paintings perfectly capture the personalities of the two main characters and the beauty of the places that they visit.