Throughout the centuries of children’s literature, one of the most beloved and most written of creatures is the humble mouse. From Aesop’s Fables, to fairy tales (how else would Cinderella get to the ball?), to modern picture books these little guys keep popping up all over the place. Children have loved them for centuries. And not wanting to buck tradition, my own children have fallen in love with stories of these diminutive creatures. And since at Christmas, we are all looking for special books to share with our loved ones, I thought I would share a list of our favorites. Here you are, my fellow bibliophiles:
Favorites for the Littlest Ones
- The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood- I have read this book to my children probably thousands of times. In fact, I have it memorized. My kids have it memorized. We have gone through three copies. And yet, they still want me to read it. It is so delightful that I don’t really mind reading it again….and again….and again. (I don’t have a picture of this one since I can’t find it. It is probably under a bed or something. It goes to bed a lot!)
- The beautiful Beatrix Potter– particularly Two Bad Mice and Mrs Tittlemouse– These have also been a favorite particularly with my two year old girlie.
- Three Blind Mice by Ivimey- this is the traditional rhyme with illustrations by Galdone
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Numeroff- We love this book and I try to make cookies for when we read it. We also like the If You Take a Mouse to the Movies for Christmas time.
- Honorable mention- Although this book doesn’t have a mouse as the main character in the mouse, a very charming mouse is the hero of the story. Shrewbettina’s Birthday is a lovely wordless picture book that all my children enjoy but particularly my two year old girlie.
Favorites for All Children (these are in no particular order)
- The Church Mouse and others in the series by Graham Oakley- These are so funny and always send my children into fits of giggles. Unfortunately, they are not in print but you can find them used.
- Anatole and others in the series by Eve Titus- A mouse magnifique! Vive Anatole! These charming series is about a brave and clever mouse who faces many obstacles creatively. So much fun! Anatole and Anatole and the Cat are currently in print and the others can be found used.
- The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem- Oh these have to be my favorite books ever! The illustrations and stories are just so wonderful and my kids and I spend hours looking at the pictures. This is the perfect gift for girls! However, don’t discount it for boys too- the High Hills adventure story is a favorite.
- Ernest and Celestine and others in the series by Gabriel Vincent- These are a sweet series of book about a mouse Celestine and the bear Ernest who takes care of her. Unfortunately, they are out of print but you can find them used.
- Mousekin’s Family and others in the series by Edna Miller- These are lovely stories of Mousekin and his adventures. They are more naturalistic rather than imaginary but they are well loved all the same.
- Once a Mouse by Marcia Brown- This is a fun Indian Fable about the importance of being humble.
- Tim Mouse and others by Judy Brook- These are the story of brave little Tim mouse and his grand adventures.
- Raminagrobis and the Mice by Harold Berson- This is a clever little story of a brave family of mice who outwits a terrible cat.
- And now the piece de resistance as they say. Apparently I hit the jackpot because I actually own this book. I am listing it here even though the price is CRAZY because you might find it in a used book store or library sale (like I did) somewhere and when you do you make sure you grab it quickly. I mean grab it fast! And then as you are paying for your treasure, you can giggle in delight that you finally found it. Yes, dear friends, I am talking about The Sugar Mouse Cake by Gene Zion. It is a perfectly wonderful and deliciously sweet book. I have asked the folks at Purple House Press to republish it and I dearly hope they do so you all can enjoy it.
Now if you have read all of these, your little one might have a desire to learn more about these little creatures. Here are some book that are good for that:
- Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse by Lindsay Barret George- This is a fun book that beautifully shows the difference between mice who live indoors and mice who live outdoors.
- A Look Through the Mouse Hole by Fischer-Nagel- This is a real life book that explains everything you want to know about mice and their habitat
- A Mouse Names Mus by Irene Brady- This amazing book has a story of a mouse but explains all about him and also some of his friends too. Beautiful drawing and so much information about all sorts of animals. This is probably more for an older child as it is a chapter book.
Speaking of chapter books, here is a list of them for your new readers and beyond:
- Mouse Tales and Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel- These are beginning readers but are wonderful stories!
- The Rescuers, Miss Bianca, and The Turret by Margery Sharp- This is such a wonderful series. Now, you mustn’t think that Disney is an acceptable alternative for reading this series. Because the book is different and so much better. Try it and you’ll see. (I have found this to be true of many of Disney movies. They are such fun but the books are infinitely better.)
- Stuart Little– Ditto on the reading the book from above.
- The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse and Whitefoot the Wood Mouse by Thornton Burgess- These are a favorite around here and it is amazing how much you learn about mice from these wonderful stories.
So, what mouse book treasures have I missed? I dearly hope I have missed some! Regardless, at your house on Christmas Eve may lots of creatures be “stirring”, even some mice!
Love to you,
P.S. Since a lot of these books are out of print, I thought I would list my top sites for finding used books. BookFinder is a great place for finding the lowest price. Amazon, Thrift Books, and Abe’s Books are the best and least expensive places to purchase them. Finally, all Amazon links are affliate links which means if you click on them and purchase an item, I will make a small percentage which will bless our family with diapers and books for our home library. Thank you so incredibly much!!