Mouse Guard, by artist and writer David Peterson, is an award-winning comics series telling the tales of a medieval mouse kingdom, its inhabitants, and its myriad of animal enemies. The series began in 2006 and has spawned sketch books, plush figures, a role-playing game by designer Luke Crane, and a potential movie deal. The most recent addition to the Mouse Guard line is the Mouse Guard Alphabet Book, written by Peterson and illustrated by Serena Malyon.
Let’s get this out of the way first: the book is gorgeous. I want a poster with all the letters and the accompanying illustrations to hang in my 3-year old’s room. Well, most of the illustrations. The one with the mouse fighting a giant snake might not go over so well. The paper cut style works very well with the subject matter and the earthy colors pop on the page.
The downside to this book in particular really comes with some parental experience. I read the book to my youngest and lost him somewhere around O or P. The kid knows his alphabet and was interested in the pictures, but the descriptions, though wonderfully verbose and chock-full of great imagery, just lost him along the way. My older son had trouble reading the poems, frustrating him as a learning reader just into chapter books.
In the end, if you are a fan of Mouse Guard, the book is a buy. If you want an alphabet book for your kids, you might want to look elsewhere.