Hide-and-Squeak by Heather Vogel Frederick and C. F. Payne

Children have an inexhaustible capacity for play, and as such, parents can seem like spoilsports when they call an end to their fun at nap- or bedtime. In Hide-and-Squeak, however, Mouse Baby and his father have turned this familiar nightly, ahem, parental Cat-and-Mouse into a game of sorts where Mouse Baby leads his father on a merry chase through the garden and all around the (human-sized) house before he is ‘caught’ and tucked into bed.

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The author uses repetition and rhyme to good effect here, as the story reads like a bedtime chant that is comforting and helps to lull the reader, especially the refrain: “It’s time for bed. It’s time for sleep. No more time for hide-and-squeak.”

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As they say, however, the fun is in the chase, and the warm, lively full-page illustrations of Mouse Baby scampering around, with his very patient father dutifully trailing him at every turn, are a delight and help to draw the reader into the action. The artwork also captures the apparent playfulness of the chase and Baby Mouse’s glee, and highlights the loving relationship between father and son.

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