The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères is a cute picture book of slender, sophisticated mice that will capture a child’s attention and quietly teach a lesson as well.
Short and sweet, this book features lots of repetition that is helpful and engaging for children. The story: a family of mice run a restaurant. A restaurant reviewer is about to arrive to try their famous cheese soup. The father and head chef discovers that he needs to run to the store to pick up ingredients and the brothers run around, a bit frantic, trying to prepare the soup for the reviewer. The calm sister saves the day among the frantic, frenetic brothers.
I found this quite cute, and the repetition will make it fun to read aloud, but it’s not likely to be read more than two or three times in a household (unless someone had a special affinity for mice or for all things French). My children’s bookshelves are filled with books like this. And that’s okay! It’s nice to have a wide selection on hand (for the reader, if not for the children!).
It’s pretty to look at and it’s sweet in the telling, but the story leaves a little bit to be desired. As the children to whom this story is read get older, the book poses some uncomfortable questions: Why didn’t they let the sister make the soup before? How could the sister do all the soup if every brother could only do a little bit? Why did the dad have to go to the store if they really had everything they needed?
Looking for a good book? The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères is the sort of picture book that you might want to give (or get) as a gift for reading to toddlers.
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The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères
author: Marie LeTourneau
artist: Marie LeTourneau
publisher: Tanglewood Press
hardcover, 32 pages