As he did in Micawber, about an art-loving squirrel, Lithgow presents another tale of an anthropomorphized critter craving culture. This time, it's the lure of higher education that captures the fancy of a brave, starving mouse who, following the scent of cheese, inadvertently becomes a stowaway in a college student's backpack. (Lithgow wrote the text as part of his keynote address to his alma mater's�Harvard College�graduating class of 2005; a CD recording of it is included.) After finding herself in a lecture hall, Mahalia becomes "professor's pet" when the instructor discovers her class notes, which clearly indicate genius tendencies. Much like the other selections in Lithgow's children's book repertoire, the adventure unfolds in musical-sounding verse, but here, because of the dire circumstances of Mahalia's family, the singsong tone seems inappropriate (e.g., "Tormented by fears of a grim holocaust,/ She pictured her home and her family lost!"). Readers willing to buy into the fantasy of a mouse-sized laptop, bookbag and graduation cap and gown may enjoy exploring Oleynikov's striking mixed-media illustrations from a mouse's viewpoint (and set on a slightly impressionistic campus recognizable to those who have visited Cambridge, Mass.). But Mahalia's determination to earn a degree works better as a quirky segment of Lithgow's commencement speech than as a picture book text, and may leave some young readers puzzled. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Mahalia Mouse Goes to College: Book and CDby John Lithgow, Igor Oleynikov
Mahalia Mouse and her family live underneath Dunster House, an old Harvard dormitory. Foraging for food for her younger brothers and sisters, Mahalia gets trapped in a backpack and then finds herself inside a classroom far from home. Mahalia, intrigued by the lecture, starts attending classes and soon becomes a full-time student all the while wondering about… See more details below
Mahalia Mouse and her family live underneath Dunster House, an old Harvard dormitory. Foraging for food for her younger brothers and sisters, Mahalia gets trapped in a backpack and then finds herself inside a classroom far from home. Mahalia, intrigued by the lecture, starts attending classes and soon becomes a full-time student all the while wondering about the fate of her family. But when graduation day finally arrives, Mahalia has a wonderful surprise waiting for her.
Written as part of his keynote address at Harvard's commencement, this latest book from John Lithgow (class of '67) incorporates his trademark witty rhymes and includes a CD of him reading the text at the commencement. Mahalia's story has an inspiring message for graduates or anyone whose success is worthy of celebration.
Gr 3 & Up - This sophisticated story is part of Lithgow's commencement speech to Harvard's class of 2005. Rhyming verses introduce Mahalia, a mouse who leaves her impoverished family behind to search for food. She finds herself interested in a science course after accidentally ending up in a Harvard classroom in a student's backpack. Her diligence and intelligence win the professor's support, and she goes on to complete four years of study. She graduates, thus ending this "story of stout self-reliance;/An epic account on a miniature scale/Of a mouse who set forth on life's bumpy trail/And succeeded by simply refusing to fail." Children can appreciate the tiny protagonist's persistence, but some concepts like professors, lab fees, and lectures will need to be explained. The art is rendered in gouache then digitally treated, resulting in a dark, at times somber, palette. The illustrations are exuberant whether depicting the joy on graduates' faces or their horror at spotting a mouse in their lecture hall. The accompanying CD is a live recording of the story from the commencement ceremony, and it is a joy to listen to Lithgow's musical cadence and hear the audience's reactions to this presentation.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CACopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Book and CD
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.80(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
John Lithgow is the New York Times bestselling author of I Got Two Dogs; Mahalia Mouse Goes to College; Marsupial Sue Presents: The Runaway Pancake; I’m A Manatee; Micawber; Marsupial Sue; The Remarkable Farkle McBride; and Carnival of the Animals. An award-winning actor, he has starred on stage, film, and television. He performs concerts across the country and has recorded the CDs Farkle and Friends, Singin’ in the Bathtub, and The Sunny Side of the Street. Visit John at JohnLithgow.com.
Igor Oleynikov worked as an assistant at an animation studio in Russia, and became the art director there. He has illustrated a number of children's books that were published in Europe, and his artwork was featured at the 2004 Bologna Children's Book Fair. Igor Oleynikov lives in Moscow.
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