Okay, so the title of this post is completely misleading. I do not, in fact, love mice. If you said to me, “KT, what are you afraid of?” I would say, “Rodents with long tails. Mice. Rats. Possums.”
I would rather run into a lion than a possum. At least a lion is honest about his intentions. Possums are sneaky little buggers. So are mice. If you ever want to hear me scream my head off, bring a mouse with you.
But. There is something so completely freaking adorable about illustrated mice. Isn’t there? How do illustrators make them look so cute and harmless? I think the more honest depiction is in that terrible film, Strange Magic, when the girl is all shrunk down and sees the mouse and tries to pet it and it tries to bite her.
Yeah. So we’ll stick with gorgeous drawings of mice. You get me?
Books About Mice
What I do love love love are books about mice. Maybe it’s the same thing in me that loves books about miniature people. Have you seen the stuff mice use to decorate their homes in picture books? It’s awesome. If only I was small enough to use a spool of thread for a dining table, I would live in a happy world.
Littles like to imagine being that small, too. It makes them feel big, for one thing, and have you ever known a child who didn’t long to be bigger? (Boy, have they got a surprise coming, huh?)
The Brambly Hedge Books by Jill Barklem are some of my all-time favorites. I don’t even have to read the stories.
Have you seen these illustrations? I. am. in. love. Plus, the mouse folk of Brambly Hedge are always helping each other. They don’t have to Buy Things–they just go to the Store Stump and get what they need. Because they all contribute and they aren’t selfish. They only take what they need. Utopia, anyone?
These stories are so sweet and full of hope and friendship and love. From Midsummer and Midwinter balls to lost little mice to an adventurous boat ride, there’s something for every little in these pages. Plus, I’m talking hours of gazing at the illustrations. Hours. These books are sure to spark imaginative play. Especially if you have any Calico Critters laying around.
If you’re looking for something a little more mature (?) The Ralph Mouse series by Beverly Cleary is one of my favorite childhood discoveries. A mouse that befriends a boy and rides a motorcycle? And saves the boy?! I mean, that would be very cool if the mouse was not a real mouse. Because yuck.
My personal feelings aside, I really did love these books as a child. A whole lot of problem-solving goes on in them, and sure, we can’t all just ride away in a Hot Wheel when the going gets tough, but maybe your littles will learn a bit about thinking things through and finding solutions. Plus, the mouse rides a motorcycle. I’m just sayin’.
If you’re looking for something less (?) mature, Kevin Henkes’ collection of mouse picture books is absolutely the thing. Several of these impacted my childhood, of course, but Chester’s Way is my very, very favorite-ist. It’s the one of which I still have a well-worn copy on my ‘special books’ shelf. I know what you’re thinking–it’s not because I have to have my own way all the time. It’s because of how Chester learns to accommodate others and not be so rigid all the time.
Okay. It’s the illustrations.
All of Kevin Henkes‘ books are good, though, let’s be honest.
Let’s get a little more real here about another thing. Maturity, Schmaturity. Every single one of these books about mice is brilliant and I’m not just saying that. So who cares how old you are or what ‘grade level’ you’re at?
Make a Mouse Craft
What you need:
- 1 craft stick per mouse
- Small googly eyes
- Small black pom
- Grey craft paint
- 2 bottle caps
- Glue gun (not pictured)
- Craft Glue
What you do:
- Paint your craft stick grey
- With craft glue, glue pom to one end of stick for nose
- Glue eyes into place with craft glue above nose
- Here’s the mama or dada part: Run a horizontal strip of hot glue above the eyes and stick the bottle caps on for ears (this is the only thing you need the glue gun for)
- Cut 4 1/4″ strips of twine
- Glue strips alongside nose for whiskers
- Flip mouse over and glue a 3″ piece of twine near the back end for the tail
What to Read Wednesday
The most popular post from last week was:
And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!
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