Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Extreme Babymouse

Extreme Babymouse

Jennifer L. Holm , Matthew Holm
Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2013   ISBN: 978-0307931603

Everyone is Babymouse’s school is talking about snowboarding. Felicia, Babymouse’s mortal enemy, is talking about her new snowboard jacket, and the others are talking about doing the half pipe, keeping track of the snow report, and how “extreme” snowboarding is. Everyone is snowboard mad! Except for Babymouse, who has never snowboarded. Ever.

   Then Babymouse’s mother announces that a friend has a place on the mountain that they are going to borrow for the weekend and Babymouse can snowboard. At long last! Babymouse is over the moon. When they get there, Babymouse finds out that the cabin they are borrowing is rather primitive and it is nothing like the luxurious Chalet Hotel, but at least Babymouse is finally going to get to snowboard.

   Babymouse gets her equipment and then she has her first lesson. She is told to imagine that she is “riding a magic carpet” when she stands on her board. Though the idea of riding a magic carpet certainly gets Babymouse’s imagination going, in reality she has a hard time staying upright. Then Babymouse finds out that a snowboard doesn’t have any brakes, and she starts to get worried. In fact she figures out that snowboarding is not as easy as it looks and she has one misadventure after another.

   The pressure to be like everyone else, and to do what everyone else does can be pretty “extreme” for school children. More than anything else, Babymouse wants to be like her classmates and sometimes she lets her desire, and her overactive imagination, get the better of her. Readers are going to thoroughly enjoy this new Babymouse adventure and they are going to be surprised by the ending, which shows us that Babymouse has a hidden gift.

   Once again the interaction between Babymouse and the narrator is deliciously funny. The touches of sarcasm in the narrator’s ‘voice’ are cleverly done, and we sometimes feel a little sorry for Babymouse. After all, it is not easy trying to fit in and belong.