In brief: Orphaned mouse Mona has never had a real home—until a storm drives her into the cozy safety of the Heartwood Hotel. Working as a maid at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, Mona’s happier than she’s ever been. But Mona’s not sure she really belongs at Heartwood—and danger may be lurking in the woods.
Why it’s a great readaloud: Sometimes you want a gentle, reassuring book that the world is a good place and kindness is usually the right choice. This book delivers, with a likable protagonist who uses her brains and her courage to problem-solve when she runs into problems. It’s hard not to love the details of the hotel where adorable woodland creatures come for their holidays, and there’s a surprising depth to this simple story that can launch interesting conversations about community, family, home, and friendship.
But be aware: If you’re in the mood for adventure and excitement, you may want to save this book for a quieter time.
Quotable: “We live by PROTECT and RESPECT, not by TOOTH and CLAW.”