First the size. It measures 6¼ x 7½, a lovely size for small hands. The quiet black and white illustrations are elegant simplicity itself, engaging the eye, illustrating but not dominating the text.
But the glory of this book is the prose. A mouse called Whitefoot makes her home in an abandoned glass jar in a hollow near a river. When the river floods she is propelled into a dangerous adventure, clinging to life while floating precariously on a log.
Fans of Berry’s Port William fiction will recognize the themes he weaves through the pages of each story: careful work, thankful hearts, the rhythms of an ordered life.
If you had seen her, you might have thought she was being patient. She was capable of patience, I think, but now she was simply doing nothing, which was all there was to do.
As morning brightened the mist over the river, a pair of wild geese sailed down together, like two arrows shot, and sliced the surface of the water as they touched it and settled, and then they floated quietly, dignified and alert.
She was taking, hour by hour, the opportunity to live.