When I was growing up, beside the Biblical account of Jesus' birth, two books were read in our house every Christmas Eve: The Night Before Christmas and Santa Mouse. I think Michael Garland grew up with the same two stories.
The Mouse Before Christmas feels like a loving homage to both Christmas classics. It also feels like a fresh, new tale (pun slightly intended). It is charming and sweet, lyrically perfect, and just the right length for Christmas Eve reading.
Michael Garland's illustrations are also charming and sweet. His Santa Claus has the kindest eyes I've ever seen in illustration. And the world tour is stunningly beautiful.
My little boy just turned four last month. This Christmas Eve, beside the Biblical account of Jesus' birth, we will be reading The Night Before Christmas, Santa Mouse AND The Mouse Before Christmas. It is good to have traditions. It is even better to make them your own.