Author: Prudence Breitrose
Illustrator: Stephanie Yue
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Concepts: innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, family-owned businesses
Review: What did ten-year-old Megan decide to call the miniature laptop computer that was small enough to balance on her thumb? A Thumbtop of course. She and her Uncle Fred had invented the Thumbtop for amusement, little realizing that all along a number of very smart mice had been eagerly watching their progress. These representatives of the Mouse Nation were overjoyed to report to their leader, the Big Cheese, that Megan could finally help them to get a laptop into every mousehole around the world.
Technological progress of this scale would involve overcoming all sorts of obstacles, including, for starters, informing Megan that mice really were very smart and some could even talk to humans. Bringing Megan on board also meant helping some of her family members with their business problems, including revitalizing the new French restaurant that Megan's father had tried to start in a small Oregon town, helping another entrepreneur in the family sell Tick-Tock gadgets, and finding a way for Uncle Fred to manufacture millions of Thumbtops. Fortunately the small critters from Mouse Nation did not believe in the word "impossible."
This delightful novel should appeal to a wide readership with its whimsical theme of mouse-child bonding combined with some heavy-duty lessons in entrepreneurship and innovation. Added to the mix is the formation of stronger family ties and new friendships. With computerized devices becoming smaller every year, it may not take long before life imitates art and the little critters around us really do have tiny laptops in their mouseholes.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children