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Anne Krohley
The Tale of the Cat and the Ballet Mouse
Anne Krohley, author
Mimette is a mouse of culture. Born in the iconic Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, she has learned to love opera and ballet. In fact, her love of ballet has grown so much that she starts studying with professional ballerinas. When Mimette transforms into a beautiful dancer, her ability to dance unfortunately does not stop other performers’ fearful reactions when they see her unexpectedly on stage. After many mishaps during live performances, the management of the opera house decides that something must be done and sends for Hobart, the most famous mouse catcher in the world. Will Mimette find a way to escape his net and continue her ballet career? The Tale of the Cat and the Ballet Mouse is a timeless story of how a love of dance and perseverance can overcome adversity and allow dreams to come true.
A young mouse pursues her dream of dancing on stage in this graceful debut from ballet professional Krohley. Mimette, an inquisitive mouse born in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, treasures her time exploring her home—a place of glittery wonder, full of timeless music, and brimming with elegant, world-famous dancers. As she watches the stage from her secret hiding place every night, Mimette falls in love with the dancers’ plies and adagios, dreaming of mastering the art herself—until she’s inadvertently discovered one evening during a performance, setting off a string of amusing attempts to capture her.

Young readers will admire Mimette’s bravery as she refuses to abandon her passion, even as she’s faced with the danger of being trapped and killed. She spends her time soaking up the nightly performances and dedicates hours during the day to watching and learning from the opera house’s ballet mistress, perfecting her own pirouettes until she transforms into “a beautiful dancer.” Even the last-ditch effort by management to capture her fails: when famous cat Hobart, “the best opera house mouse catcher in the world,” is brought in, he’s entranced by Mimette’s dancing and reflects on her “arabesques… [as] the most exquisite I have ever seen.” His admiration prevents him from harming Mimette, though the two work together to keep his reputation intact and give Mimette the freedom to dance unhindered.

Krohley’s digital illustrations evoke the sophistication of refined ballet performances, with breathtaking sets and elegant costumes spinning across the pages as Mimette and Hobart press on towards their happy ending. Those readers devoted to dance will find much to relish here, as Krohley masterfully elicits the magic of a star performance under the shimmering lights—in Hobart’s own words, Mimette seems to “[float] on stage,” and her dedication to becoming a one-of-a-kind dancer will inspire as much as it entertains.

Takeaway: A young mouse achieves her dream to dance ballet against all odds.

Comparable Titles: Clive McFarland’s Caterpillar Dreams, Debbie Allen’s Dancing in the Wings.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: B+
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A