Format: Paperback ARC
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Animal fiction/Fantasy
What did you like about the book? Mona, a mouse, is homeless and alone after the disappearance of her family. She moves from place to place trying to find one that is warm and safe. She is lonely. She stumbles upon the Heartwood Hotel, which has a heart-shaped knocker just like the heart carved in her walnut suitcase. She is taken in and given a temporary job as a maid until the end of the fall. Though she is very grateful and loves the hotel and the staff, she fears her departure and is puzzled by the meanness of Tillie, a red squirrel, who is supposed to be training her. She befriends the bird, Cybele, who could not fly south with her friends due to an injured wing. She saves the day when Brumbles the Bear mistakenly shows up- at the hotel thinking it is his winter den. And she rents the penthouse to a June Bug being unaware that bugs are not allowed. Leaving in disgrace after Tillie reprimands her for the fifteenth time, she discovers wolves are planning to attack the residents of the hotel. Mona is plucky and brave, an endearing, realistic heroine. The expressive illustrations by Graegin enhance the story greatly.
Anything you did not like about this book? Nothing.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a fast-moving book that flows beautiful. Give it to children who like reading and appreciate a good animal fantasy.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Juvenile fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you like heart-touching sweet stories about animals, yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review
Date of review: 5/22/2017