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I have to admit, in real life mice give me the willies. I will play with a snake or a spider all day long, but a mouse can engender a scream from me faster than just about anything. They’re so fast. And creepy. And germy. Ewwww.
Even so, I enjoy stories that anthropomorphize mice. Maybe it’s the way they collect human items and make the coolest little furniture out of them. I dunno. Whatever it is, since I was very small I have loved reading stories about mice and the sweet little illustrations that usually come with such tales. Tails. What have you.
So if you’re studying mice or rodents and you need some good lit to add to your unit, look no further than the following gems.
Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel
I have always been a huge fan of Lobel’s, mostly for his Frog and Toad stories, but also due to Mouse Soup. This is a collection of stories that a mouse tells a weasel in order to keep from being turned into soup. It’s really cute and funny and full of Lobel’s classic illustrations. It’s also easy to read a would make a quick addition to your study.
Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
This book is a bit longer read, but it’s worth it for the lesson about compromise. The adorable illustrations will keep your little occupied and you really can’t beat the message about not expecting to get your own way 24/7.
Town Mouse Country Mouse by Jan Brett
Jan Brett’s gorgeous illustrations spruce up this classic tale of the town mouse and the country mouse with a twist. In this version, two mouse couples swap homes–one country house and one Victorian town house. Adventure and suspense ensue. Your littles will love it.
The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem
These are my absolute favorite mouse books. Barklem was a genius at creating an entire mouse world. She wrote and illustrated 8 charming stories about the mice of Brambly Hedge, and the pictures alone will transport you and your littles to a British hedgerow. You should Google some of the dollhouses people have made based on the illustrations. The effort is mind-boggling. The books were published in the 1980s but are still readily available, and I really can’t urge you enough to get at least one of them for your littles. They are just magical.
The Ralph Mouse Collection by Beverly Cleary
I recommended one of the books in this collection for a camping unit, but any of the three (including The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, and Ralph S. Mouse) would be a fun addition to a mouse study. Ralph’s exploits are always good for a cringe and a laugh.
Abel’s Island by William Steig
I’ve recommended this book to you before, because it has always been one of my favorites. Told in the same vein as Robinson Crusoe, it is about a mouse who gets stranded on an island and how he survives and escapes. I’ve read it several times since childhood, and the Littles enjoyed it just as much as I do when we read it together last year. I think your littles will love it, too.
Stuart Little by E B White
Who can resist an animal story by E B White? Not I, said the Lit Mama. We love Stuart’s adventurous spirit and loyalty. But we don’t want to imagine having a mouse as part of the family. Because real mice… ewww. But this guy, we love.
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
My favorite part of this book is when Despereaux goes to the castle library and falls in love with the books. If only he wouldn’t chew on them. Anyway, this is another charming mouse tale full of adventure, and a sure little-pleaser with its villains, princess, castle, and fairy-tale quality. Ultimately, this is a book about hopes and dreams, and your littles will relate to at least one of the characters on a pretty profound level. So be sure to share it with them. Even if you aren’t studying about mice.
Told ya. For a girl who shudders at real mice, I’m a sucker for a good mouse story. I hope you have seen one here you want to share with your littles.
Day One: Donkeys Day Two: Summer Day Three: Water Day Four: Insects Day Five: Owls
Day Six: Bears Day Seven: Winter Day Eight: Poetry Day Nine: Squirrels & Rabbits Day Ten: Moon
Day Eleven: Autumn Day Twelve: Plants Day Thirteen: Camp Day Fourteen: Legends