A mouse as decorator

Need a House? Call Ms. Mouse, by George Mendoza. Illustrated by Doris Susan Smith. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. $5.95.

Featuring a mouse with a penchant for interior design, this book has visual appeal that more than makes up for its somewhat weak story. Its heroine, Henrietta, is a ''world famous decorator'' who makes her living designing homes for inhabitants of the animal kingdom.

Their needs are all too predictable: ''Lazy cat'' wants lots of beds . . . the sole purpose being what cats like to be best, lazy,'' and Fox wants ''a place to relax after a long day's running and cunning.'' (Is there an antidefamation league for animals?)

Doris Susan Smith's execution of the interior plans would make any animal homeowner happy. Her richly colored illustrations are filled with minute details and imaginative touches, for example, a Versailles-style garden with statues of prancing hogs, for the pig, which will keep readers gazing for hours.

The text isn't memorable, but there is a moral to the story - the virtue of simplicity; Henrietta herself prefers to live in a tent!

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