Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Rip Squeak & His Friends

Rip Squeak & His Friends

Susan Yost-Filgate
Illustrator:  Leonard Filgate 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 7
Raven Tree Press,Csi, 2009   ISBN: 978-1934960400

Rip Squeak and his sister Jesse are delighted to have the cottage to themselves. The humans are gone, and they have taken all the feared cats with them. At least that is what Rip Squeak thinks. He soon finds out however, that one of the cats, a very small and lonely kitten, is still in the house. A kitten, moreover, who is not in the least bit interested in eating the mice, and who is more than willing to be friends.

In no time at all Rip Squeak, Jesse, and Abbey the kitten are on the best of terms. After Jesse has a far too close encounter with a tomcat in the garden during a rainstorm, a new friend joins the party. This is Euripides, a frog who is full of big words, surprises of all sorts, and who is an actor. Euripides teaches Rip, Jesse, and Abbey what the word "improvise" means. In no time the young mice and the kitten are improvising on the piano, making up little tunes and having a wonderful time.

Next, Abbey takes her friends to a wonderful place in the house where there are all sorts of treasures to enjoy. Rip is amazed that the place was "under our noses the entire time." Clearly, their home and garden are full of things to explore.

Beautifully illustrated with rich and colorful paintings, this book is a joy to read. With characters that appeal to children and a simple story, this wonderful tale celebrates the joys of new friendships and surprises discovered. As Euripides would say, "Life is full of mysterious things, coincidence, and unanswered questions." We look forward to many more adventures with these charming characters.