A Junior Library Guild Selection
All of my books and characters are based on real stories from my childhood and life, but WELCOME HOME, MOUSE best reflects my passion for recycling castoff objects into miniature treasures. In the illustration , Stanley the young elephant views the house he’s made for his friend Mouse. Stanley has made the house by recycling and re-fashioning a tomato box, postage stamps, autumn leaves, nutshells, and other fun stuff. The photo shows a room from my own handmade childhood dollhouse. (You can glimpse more dollhouse scenes on the "About Me" page.) The bed's made from a doily, a little box, scraps of cloth, and birthday candles. An apple doll rests by the fire and a couple of clothespin dolls lean against the wall, while a Russian musician plays on a handmade patchwork rug. A gallery of holiday card "paintings" decorates the wall above.
WELCOME HOME, MOUSE
Random House, September 2010
Stanley, a kind but clumsy young elephant, often makes messes.
But he also makes wonderful things, using a bit of this, a scrap of
that, and plenty of imagination. When Stanley accidentally smashes a
mouse’s house he makes her a new house, and in so doing he makes a
friend as well.
“Every word and brush stroke is spot-on in this luminous celebration of creativity, conservation and compassion. ... Kleven’s inspiring words and her paint, ink and cut-paper art burst with the same kind of joyous creativity displayed by Stanley.”
--Starred, Kirkus Reviews
“Fascinating illustrations...Using one’s imagination, repairing a mistake, and making a new friend are some of the themes contained in this charming story.”
--School Library Journal
“This has all the hallmarks of a good picture book for preschoolers: a straightforward story line, an acknowledgement of feelings, and delightful artwork.”
“...Stanley cuts and arranges until Mouse has the most wonderfully clever new house. As befitting the story, Kleven’s lovely paintings incorporate patterned paper and ephemera.”
-- Bank Street College Bookstore, New and Notable Books
"As is always the case with Elisa's titles, this exudes joy"
-- Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
"The new picture book from prolific writer and illustrator Elisa Kleven seems inspired in part by her approach to her artwork... Kids will want to spend time poring over Kleven's intricate images."
-- Time Out New York
"Kleven goes beyond the artwork to create characters and a story unafraid of moving through conflicts with tenderness...It is wonderful to see a little boy and girl resovle their differences so considerately, but gender is just a small part of the power of this story. I am left with the feeling that the characters -- and we, by reading it -- have moved through a tough little problem with compassion and creativity." -
- Marisa Echeverria "She Reads Like a Girl" (Read Marisa's full essay.)