"Viva’s debut, Along a Long Road, was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2011, and he brings that same visual audacity and forward momentum to his first early reader. Told in full spreads and comic-book-style panels, the story of a boy in a bat T-shirt and his mouse takes readers aboard a small boat headed to Antarctica. The mouse is initially reluctant, but the boy eventually wins him over with a swim in a wondrous volcanic lagoon. What child wouldn’t be on board for that?"
--The New York Times
"Clear, cool, and beautiful, it belongs on your bookshelf even if you’re considerably older than four."
"Beautiful, simple, yet epic in scale, full of joy, full of the familiar along with the incredible. Loved it."
--Forbidden Planet International
"This charming voyage tale is based on Viva’s real-life Antarctic trip, which explains the otherwise unbelievable image of swimming in warm water at the bottom of the world. The distinctive color palette of slate blue–gray, black, cream, and burnt orange provides an otherworldly but extremely attractive vision. The simple story, full of imagination, is punctuated by Mouse’s lists of things that can’t be done on a boat in choppy waters (including draw!) or what to wear in the cold. Readers’ creativity will be spurred by the recurring list structure, allowing them to envision their own additions...With a flat, cut-paper feel to the art, beautiful vistas are conjured, especially of the small boat under an open starry sky. The penguins—four different types—are standouts. Like many children, Mouse spends much of his time wanting to go home, until he leaves, then he wants to go back. Readers will, too, again and again."
--Publishers Weekly (starred)
"His illustrations define characters with a few simple but personality-packed lines and create environments out of swooping, nearly abstract shapes that, though easily recognizable as narrative elements, retain the comfort of a preschooler’s geometric-pattern books. Young children will also identify with the protagonist as he pines first for the destination and then for home, never quite satisfied with what’s on hand, a problem that Viva’s readers will not share."
"The short, funny questions and answers will help new readers build confidence with each page turn. Color and design, rather than detailed pictures, set the scene, with strong shapes and a limited palette, including icy blue, subdued red, and off-white. By the final endpapers, readers will be gratified to discover that Mouse has come full circle: ‘Can we go back there soon?’ Children will want to go back soon, too."
--The Horn Book