Meet Dakota Crumb, treasure hunter extraordinaire. Never mind that she is a mouse; her small size is no hindrance to her bravery. . . . Readers will need sharp eyes to identify the actual treasures, but the effort is rewarded by admission through a tiny door under the big museum to the Mousehole Museum—curated by the amazing, clever Miss Crumb. Murphy’s gray- and purple-hued nighttime cartoons perfectly track the action from Dakota’s close-to-the-ground perspective, depicting her as an intelligent, confident, and independent female. . . . A delightful, entertaining romp with lots of surprises.
In this Night at the Museum–leaning picture book, an intrepid gray mouse, dressed in a red turtleneck sweater and utility belt, uses her nocturnal prowl to scour a big-city museum for treasures. . . Michalak (Frank and Bean) drums up the lengthy expedition’s drama, and Murphy’s (Together We Grow) digitally colored pen and ink drawings are both adventure-story cinematic and wonderfully evocative; bathed in pale purples and blues, they capture the after-hours stillness and spooky chill of marbled interiors.
The writing draws listeners into the story with hints of daring escapades, and its tone sets the stage for adventure. The inviting artwork, drawn with pen and ink and digitally colored, enhances that atmosphere with shadowy scenes of the exhibit halls at night. Fun for reading aloud, ideally before visiting a museum.
Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter is successful on several levels: as an introduction to museums, as an adventure story and as a seek-and-find book. The treasures Dakota collects throughout the book provide a fun opportunity for kids to explore what can constitute a museum collection. Illustrator Kelly Murphy’s clear, colorful pen and ink images entice readers to look closely at paintings on the museum’s walls and tiny details in the exhibits. . . . Dakota Crumb is a delight that readers will return to again and again. In that way, it’s a bit like a favorite, fabulous museum.
When the mouse finds her fabulous treasure, kids (and adult Egyptologists) might need a bit of coaching to recognize it as a purple gumdrop. . . . But what is Dakota doing with all the stuff? The answer is a cute surprise, and even more fun is the fact that, once we know, we have a reason to read the book again.
—The Arkansas Democrat Gazette