Mouse Island

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Overview

A new story of friendship from Eve Bunting. Mouse lives alone on an island. At night he watches the lighthouse beacon flash across the water, warning ships to stay off the rocks. In the daytime, he dozes in the sun or searches for tasty sea morsels for dinner. Life is good. So why does he have a feeling that something is missing—something that would make it even better? One day a boat sinks near the island, and Mouse swims to the rescue of a strange, furry creature that has been tossed into the ocean. What is it?...

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Overview

A new story of friendship from Eve Bunting. Mouse lives alone on an island. At night he watches the lighthouse beacon flash across the water, warning ships to stay off the rocks. In the daytime, he dozes in the sun or searches for tasty sea morsels for dinner. Life is good. So why does he have a feeling that something is missing—something that would make it even better? One day a boat sinks near the island, and Mouse swims to the rescue of a strange, furry creature that has been tossed into the ocean. What is it? What kind of dangerous creature has he saved? Eve Bunting's charming tale of an unlikely friendship is warmly illustrated by Dominic Catalano.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Mouse lives alone on an island wondering why he feels something is missing in his life. When a fishing boat capsizes, Mouse bravely rescues a sinking creature. When revived, Cat identifies himself and notes that "Cat eats mouse." But being an "honorable cat," he says he will not eat Mouse. Mouse teaches Cat to fish; Cat teaches Mouse to play volleyball. And soon Mouse realizes that with a friend he has found what he was missing. Catalano's pastel scene of Mouse on the jacket fishing near the lighthouse sets the quiet emotional tone. Then the storm's slashing rain brings danger and Mouse's heroic rescue. The visual narrative describes the evolution of the relationship between the anthropomorphic instinctive enemies. The wordless final page has the two friends happily hitting a ball of yarn over the improvised volleyball net. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- Mouse is alone on an island since the departure of the lighthouse keeper and his wife, but he enjoys wading in the tide pools, watching whales, and the visits of gulls and sea lions. He gnaws at salty orange peels that wash ashore and sleeps in the sun, but he just can't understand why he feels empty. Danger arrives from the sea one afternoon as a fishing boat sinks and the emergency rescue leaves a "head" still in the water. Mouse puts his swimming skills to practice and miraculously pulls a surprising companion out of the ocean: "'Meow!' the creature said." Illustrations in rich hues depict the seaside home of a cartoon-inspired mouse and detail his cozy life, down to a beach umbrella and chair. An empty place at his sardine-can table emphasizes the missing element in his solitary life. Mouse's rescued guest, sometimes awkwardly drawn, seems more human than feline. Readers may even wonder whether his actions will continue to be benevolent, as Cat's watchful, glowing yellow eyes seem always to follow his new friend. Still, while at first he states his case simply: "I am Cat. Cat eats mouse," he tells Mouse of his own emptiness and says, "I would never eat you ." Mouse realizes that he didn't know what was missing from his life until it was found. Children may note the unusual alliance of this pair and recognize the rewards of friendship. A general purchase for most libraries.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

Kirkus Reviews
Bunting's story of an island-dwelling mouse is a tale of longing written with great flair, but it is also a bit perplexing. "Mouse lived alone on an island," it begins. Shortly thereafter, readers learn that "mouse wondered why he wasn't the most contented mouse on earth." Mouse might be clueless, but even the youngest readers will be hip to the problem. As Mouse attends to his daily rounds of the island-"Mouse tiptoed among the tide pools, nibbling the soft-bellied sea things"-sea lions honk to him from the beach and Herring Gull drops in for a visit, extending an invitation to see the world. So friends are available. Maybe Mouse needs more than friends; maybe Mouse needs a mate. Yet, the half-drowned furry thing he rescues from a shipwreck isn't another mouse. It's a cat. Mating is out, though friendship is in after initial misunderstandings are tidied up: "I would never eat you . . . I am an honorable cat and I have an obligation." Cat even teaches Mouse how to play beach volleyball. But aren't sea lions renowned ball handlers? Why didn't they teach Mouse? Still, much pleasure can be found in Bunting's melodious prose-"He saw whales passing, their white breaths smoking against the sky"-as well as Catalano's lovely pastels. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590784471
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.86 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Eve Bunting is the author of the Caldecott-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz. Among her many other titles are Will It Be a Baby Brother?, Mouse Island, Emma's Turtle, Baby Can, My Red Balloon, My Special Day at Third Street School, and Girls A to Z. She lives in Pasadena, California.

Dominic Catalano has illustrated many books for children, including Mr. Basset Plays, which he also wrote. He lives in Perrysburg, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A SSTORY OF FRIENDSHIP AND TRUST

    Young readers that I know cannot resist the stories of Eve Bunting. Pair this warm, winning tale with illustrations by Dominic Catalano and you have a book that's sure to please five to seven-year-olds.

    This time out Caldecott Medal winner Bunting introduces a lone island dweller - Mouse. Not only does he live alone, but he's very self-sufficient. Mouse finds plenty to eat, is quite safe, and really has no responsibilities. Nonetheless, he is not content. He know there is something missing but has no idea what it is.

    One day his friend Herring Gull dropped in, and Mouse described his feeling of emptiness. Gull thought he needed to see the world and offered to fly him around. Mouse declined with, "I'm afraid of flying."

    Then one day Mouse looked out and saw that a fishing boat was sinking. Fortunately, a lifeboat came and saved three men. But, the rescuers overlooked one small head bobbing in the water. "Hold on!" Mouse shouted, and he jumped in to save whoever or whatever it was.

    Youngsters will be surprised at who Mouse finds, and learn a valuable lesson in friendship.

    - Gail Cooke

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