What makes a mouse house a home? With a problem to solve, an unexpected friendship, and a little mystery to unravel, Mouse House Tales offers twice the story of a picture book and all the warmth and charm of a modern classic. The book’s two stories can be read all at once, or one at a time, making it a perfect fit for those who want a longer, “big kid” book but aren’t yet ready for text-heavy chapter books. Whether read aloud or by an independent reader, kids will relate to the emotions and friendships that help...
What makes a mouse house a home? With a problem to solve, an unexpected friendship, and a little mystery to unravel, Mouse House Tales offers twice the story of a picture book and all the warmth and charm of a modern classic. The book’s two stories can be read all at once, or one at a time, making it a perfect fit for those who want a longer, “big kid” book but aren’t yet ready for text-heavy chapter books. Whether read aloud or by an independent reader, kids will relate to the emotions and friendships that help Mouse turn her “sweet little house” into a warm and inviting home filled with fun, friends—and cheese!
You probably wouldn't mind sharing your own house with Pearson's mouse…[a] beautifully produced and amiable book…
Mouse is fortunate in her many friends. Although each one sees the world through a very particular lens—Wren thinks all homes are essentially versions of a nest; Goat believes any occasion is made better with cheese, which becomes the book’s running joke—they are always ready to work together and help her. In the first of two stories divided into a handful of brief chapters, the animals come together to help Mouse build a home; in the second, they join forces in an attempt to build Mouse a trap to catch what she thinks is a ghost. Even when her friends’ efforts don’t pan out, Mouse never questions their concern for her well-being. By subtly addressing the ingredients of successful friendships—a tolerance for quirks and peccadilloes, a willingness to believe in the good will of others—Pearson (Slugger) and Shepherd (Such a Silly Baby!) create some genuine food for thought. Although Pearson’s writing vacillates unpredictably between rhymes and straightforward prose, Shepherd expertly choreographs her large, eager cast, bringing forth their distinctive effusiveness. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Two stories for beginning readers about Mouse and her new home. First, Mouse wants a house, and she wants to build it beneath a certain tree. Mole offers to dig the hole, Beaver chews her a nice wood floor, and Goat brings some cheese. Her friends make her everything from curtains to furniture, and, once again, Goat brings some cheese. When they are finished and the house is looking just right, Goat brings, well, you know. Time to eat! In "Mystery Mouse," Mouse is happy in her new home until she begins to hear strange noises in the night, so her friends present their own special brand of traps to snare the intruder. Spider spins a web, and Bunny scatters peas on the floor, but Goat is skeptical. "It won't work," he says. Later that night, Goat is proven right and proposes his own solution. A menagerie of animals with distinct personalities and snappy wardrobes brings these simple tales of friendship and fun to life. Shepherd's pen, watercolor, and mixed-media art provides exceptional appeal. Attention to detail and the exaggerated features of the characters enhance the merriment. Lots of fun for reading aloud, shared reading, or beginning readers alike. A first purchase.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
Mouse and his friends build a house and then defend it from…a ghost? Two stories, "Mouse House" and "Mouse Mystery," in one book introduce readers to Mouse and his buddies, who are more than happy to help him both build his house and figure out how to trap a mysterious intruder. Simple vocabulary that's easy for new readers to decode is the order of the day, but this does not make the book ideal for them. The narrative moves back and forth from lightly rhymed verse (clunky in places) to unrhymed text, making it hard to read aloud. " ‘Turn out your lights / so the ghost cannot see,' / said Mole hopefully." Moreover, just when readers get a rhythm going, the text returns to unrhymed prose. Providing chapter headings every four pages (and every 30-50 words) also breaks up the satisfying story. The art, a winning combination of pencil, watercolor and collage, is the star here. Each spread is filled with humor and detail: Animals wear clothes, the goat is always hungry, and a wise owl watches from a hole in the tree. When Mouse finally catches the intruder, readers will celebrate new friendship with all the animals. The thick, oversized paper, in combination with the brightly colored cartoon illustrations, gives this a warm, throwback feel. Despite textual trip-ups, a satisfying story overall. (Picture book. 4-8)
Susan Pearson is a former publisher whose books for children include picture books, chapter books, mysteries, and collections of verse. She describes herself as "lucky" to be doing what she loves, "a detective" always in search of the right word or idea, and "a gardener" who likes to grow things both in the dirt and on the page (and where she often finds book-inspiring slugs). Slugs in Love and How to Teach a Slug to Read are among her recent books. Ms. Pearson shares her home with an "endlessly entertaining" cat named Archie.
Amanda Shepherd knew she would be an artist back in kindergarten and has since illustrated five children's books, and earned starred reviews. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she lives in Texas with her husband Garbo and Polly, their "hurricane baby cat."