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CriticasGr 3-5-This now-classic tale first published in English (HarperCollins, 1986) has been nicely translated into Spanish. Ralph is a reckless little mouse living with his extended family in Room 215 of the Hotel Bellavista (Mountain View Inn in the English version). When new guests come to stay in the room, Ralph is surprised and delighted that the boy in the family, Keith, can communicate with him. Better still, Keith has an entire fleet of snazzy miniature cars as well as a bright red motorcycle with shiny chrome fenders sized perfectly for a mouse. As they become friends, the boy and the mouse have to learn to trust each other. Ralph has to show the boy that he can be trusted to ride the motorcycle. Keith promises to provide the mouse family with "room service" for as long as he resides at the hotel. The relationship between the two protagonists is realistic in its lack of sentimentality. They deal with each other in an admiring and straightforward manner while maintaining an age-appropriate self-involvement that will resonate with kids. Cleary does a wonderful job of imagining exciting and dangerous mouse adventures involving snarling dogs, rodent-averse maids, hungry owls, and ruthless exterminators. Darling's pen-and-ink illustrations hit the perfect comic note and are well positioned throughout the text. The dialog and the settings still seem fresh and current. This action-packed story will hold the attention of an entire class at story time and can be read by the most reluctant of readers. Recommended for school and public libraries. Also a safe bet for bookstore shelves.
—Maria Otero-Boisvert, "Criticas" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.