Friday, April 20, 2012
RIP SQUEAK AND HIS FRIENDS by Susan Yost-Filgate
Rip Squeak is a mouse fascinated with adventure—finding it, experiencing it, and writing about it. Just as Rip starts writing about his adventures, he hears a rustle and a brand new set of adventures begin. Rip meets Abby, who is a little kitty left behind when the family moved out of the cottage. With her family gone, Abby is scared, sad, and lonely, so Rip introduces her to his sister, Jesse. Rip and Jesse try to cheer Abby up by distracting her with games and adventures. An outdoor adventure in the rain nearly becomes deadly when a tomcat corners Jesse. Fortunately, a green creature, complete with a big hat and sword, comes to Jesse's rescue. Euripides, a frog fond of theatre, music, costume, play, and, most of all, imagination, enters the lives of Rip Squeak, Jess and Abby. The story closes with a thankful Abby sharing her favorite room, the toy-room, with her friends. Rip, Abby, Jesse, and Euripides play to the point of exhaustion until they curl up in Abby's soft fur to dream about tomorrow's next big adventures.
Not only is the storyline of Rip Squeak and His Friends engaging, but the illustrations by Leonard Filgate enliven Rip Squeak's world. One of the most charming scenes is Jesse in a bright yellow raincoat and boots, swinging a blue cocktail-size umbrella, and splashing in the rain. The visual of the dashing Euripides—hat in hand—introducing himself to the trio is equally enjoyable. The closing scene of four friends—two little mice, a kitten, and a frog—dreaming of adventures to come leaves the reader wanting more of Rip Squeak and his adventures.