The Christopher Award

“In this slightly expanded version of a 1984 book, with enlarged illustrations, a merry, chaotic family of mice set out for a picnic in their red pickup. As they bounce along the bumpy dirt road, Little Bitty falls off the back of the truck. Accompanied only by a pink stuffed animal, Bitty cries a little, forages a little, and waits a little. Meanwhile, the parents discover that Bitty is missing, and all the mice search the picnic site frantically, pile into the truck, and then head back down the road, where they find her waiting. Every child who has felt lost, even for a moment, will savor the happy reunion. Page layout varies from broad, double-page paintings of a single scene to several smaller pictures on a white page. Defined by McCully’s precise, energetic line drawings and brightened with washes in warm, rich colors, the ink-and-watercolor artwork will appeal to children and adults alike. With a short text and sun-dappled illustrations, this book captures the feeling of the best summer days: so joyful, so splendid that even the sad tale of a little lost mouse is sure to end happily.”