Melvin's relatives are travelling from all over to celebrate the Mice Festival at his home! It's an exciting event for the mice, with much fun and celebration to be had. Gifts are exchanged, and games are played, but Uncle Dom still hasn't arrived. Will the whole family be able to celebrate together, or will this year's reunion dinner be one beloved family member short? This is a sweet tale about family bonds. "Full-page illustrations, double-page spreads, spot illustrations, and one impressive three-page foldout give the story a visual animation. ... A persistently rose-colored narrative about family togetherness is buoyed by homey, cozy, copiously detailed illustrations." --Kirkus Reviews (U.S.)
Wenjun Qin was born in Shanghai, China, in 1954. In 2009, she became the first Chinese writer to be shortlisted for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She was nominated for the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award. She has published 58 children's books and written more than 6 million words. To her, being a children's book author is the world's best job.
Xiaoxuan Xu ===========
Xiaoxuan Xu, who resides in Beijing, is an illustrator. She graduated from the Animation Department, School of Design, Jiangnan University. In 2011, she began illustrating for the Children Literature Magazine, which started her career as an illustrator. Since then, she has illustrated many children's picture books.
"An anthropomorphic mouse family hosts a family reunion in this picture book translated from Chinese. Melvin, a young mouse, is excited for the upcoming Mice Festival, an annual family reunion. His family will be hosting it this year, and the preparations are nonstop. While author Qin details the activities, illustrator Xu delivers illustrations filled to their edges with copious homey details, somewhat reminiscent of Tasha Tudor's style. Full-page illustrations, double-page spreads, spot illustrations, and one impressive three-page foldout give the story a visual animation. If only the same could be said for the narrative. Its undemanding arc relates the arrival of the relatives and their joy and delight in one another, with a small blip of tension when Uncle Dom is tardy; but all ends well--and, if possible, even cozier. Gender stereotypes are strictly adhered to: The aunties and Melvin's mother prepare all the food; the boys tussle; the girls play dress-up. The theme of unselfish, loving family togetherness with nary a quibble is delivered with a sentimental perseverance that may not resonate with Western readers. An author's note at the end reads peculiarly, essentially an explanatory synopsis of the story reiterating the value of family and love. An illustrator's note following is also eccentric, conveying a fragmented homage to imagination, bravery, and, yes, love. A persistently rose-colored narrative about family togetherness is buoyed by homey, cozy, copiously detailed illustrations. (Picture book. 3-7)" -- Kirkus Reviews