In few words but expressive pictures, a little mouse looks for a friend – and happily finds one just in time to save himself from a predator who has been hiding there all the time – unseen, but in plain sight! A simple story on the universal theme of friendship.
“PreS-K — This “Very-First-Step-to-Reading” book, with its brightly colored, inviting illustrations, closely resembles Garten’s The Alphabet Tale (Random, 1964). It is not an alphabet book, however. On the first page, a mouse looking for a friend addresses the question, “Do you want to be my friend?” to a pictured animal’s tail. The following page reveals the rest of the animal. After meeting a variety of tails (horse, alligator, lion, etc.) and their respective owners, he at last finds another mouse who answers his question, “Yes.” And, what has appeared throughout the book to be a green border is show on the last page to be a long, appealing, curvaceous snake.”
– by Mary B. Mason, Library Journal, September 15, 1971
“A picture book with only a few words at the beginning, and a single word at the end. A small mouse asks the title question as he approaches the tail of a large creature; turn the page and there is a horse busily munching grass—but there, across the page is a long green tail. Turn the page and there is an alligator. And so on….until another little mouse says, “Yes”, and the two cuddle happily in a tree as the last long tail unwinds and proves to be a snake. The idea is not new, but it is nicely executed, and small children can enjoy the fun of guessing what’s on the next page. The illustrations, bold against white space, are reminiscent of Munari’s in composition and humor.”
– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, July-August 1971
“Imaginatively conceived and beautifully wrought, this is a perfect picture book for a small child. Containing but seven words—those of the title—it offers a splendid opportunity for a prereader, with a little initial help, to create his own story based on the brilliantly colored, wonderfully expressive pictures. We first meet a lonely little mouse asking, “Do you want to be my friend?” of a large tail swishing high above him. When the mouse discovers, on the next page, that the tail belongs to a grazing horse, indifferent to his plea, he continues his quest, proceeding hopefully from unfriendly alligator to lion, hippo, seal, monkey, peacock, fox, kangaroo and giraffe until he finds a just-right friend. Drama and suspense are furnished by a villain who slithers unnoticed but in plain view across the bottom of each page until he reveals his true nature in an exciting climax.”
– by Polly Goodwin, The Washington Post, May 9, 1971