Anonymouse and the Secret Wish
by Chuck Wiffle

"For as long as they could remember, he had always lived in that house, just him and his pet, a cute little mouse with bright eyes and a pink nose."

Katherine lives with her parents and her sister Joany. She has a friend named Jane with whom she attends school and who has a habit of dressing like Katherine without intending to. Katherine suspects she and Jane are kindred spirits because they have so much in common. Each morning on their way to school, they pass Mr. Wright, who has a pet mouse that sits on his shoulder and seems to wave at them. In flashback, the reader learns that shortly before Jane moved into the house down the street, Katherine received a note blown on the wind promising her that “all of your wishes will come true.” The message was signed “Anonymouse.” It’s hinted that Mr. Wright’s mouse wrote the note.

The book does an adequate job of introducing the reader to the heroine and making her sympathetic. Katherine’s struggles with loneliness and desire for companionship are likely to resonate with younger readers. The book features some intriguing narrative choices. For example, some pages contain very little text, while others have almost as much as the rest of the book combined. What’s more, the story begins with the central dilemma—Katherine’s earlier need for a new friend—but then flashes back to the year before and shows how the problem was resolved in the past. There is also an air of mystery maintained throughout, especially as the presence of the mouse and the anonymous note raise questions left unanswered. This thoroughly charming tale of two girls who are playmates and a neighbor with a strange pet may appeal to young girls especially.

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