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If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunchbox. When you give him your lunchbox, he'll want a sandwich. then he'll need a notebook and some pencils...
The famous mouse from the New York Times #1 bestselling If You Take a Mouse to the Movies and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is back in time for the first day of school. Besides doing a little math and spelling a word or two, Mouse creates chaos with a messy science experiment, builds a little mouse house for himself out of blocks, and writes his very own first book. It's never been more fun to go to school!
About the Author
Laura Numeroff is the New York Times bestselling author of many books for young readers in addition to the If You Give…series, including The Chicken Sisters and Laura Numeroff’s 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is involved with several children’s charities, including First Book. You can visit her online at www.lauranumeroff.com.
Felicia Bond is both writer and illustrator of Tumble Bumble, The Day It Rained Hearts, the Poinsettia books, and many others. She painted the art for numerous other award-winning books, including those in the much loved If You Give . . . series and the contemporary classic Big Red Barn. She lived for many years in New York and currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Date of Birth:July 14, 1953
Place of Birth:Brooklyn, New York
Education:B.F.A. with honors, Pratt Institute, 1975; attended Parsons College, 1975
A Conversation with Laura Numeroff
Q. The If You Give a... series has a unique style of its own. Where did this style come from and how has it contributed to the success of the series?
A. The idea for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie came to me on a long, boring car trip. I had an image in my head of a little mouse nibbling on a gigantic chocolate chip cookie. I pictured him getting crumbs in his whiskers, and then wanting some milk, and so the whole story unraveled right until the end when he was thirsty again and wanted another glass of milk! I've been told by parents and teachers that kids like the circular pattern of the If You Give a... books, and how one thing eventually leads to another. When I first read the story to a classroom, the teacher said, "That’s a wonderful circular story." I had no idea what that was, as I had never set out to write one!
Q. Tell us about the various charities you are involved with, particularly First Book. Why is it important to give a child his or her first book?
A. I made a decision a few years ago to start donating a portion of my royalties to charity. They have included the North American Handicapped Riders Association, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, as well as many others. I heard about First Book through HarperCollins and thought the idea of a giving a child his or her own book, when they otherwise would never have the opportunity to own one, was wonderful. Books can open up new worlds, inspire kids to use their imagination, and take them to places they'd never be able to go on their own.
Q. Your new book is called If You Take a Mouse to School. What made you decide to bring Mouse to school? Did you base any of the scenes on your own experiences?
A. Mouse and I don’t have much in common when it comes to school. First of all, he’s good in math! Also, I always wanted to do very messy science experiments in school, but never got the chance. I gave Mouse the opportunity so I could live vicariously through him. He’s also a bit of a sports nut, but I was always figuring out a way to get out of gym!
Q. Mouse’s curious nature enables him to make the most of his day at school. Describe your typical day.
A. My typical day starts out by cuddling with my dog Sydney and then taking him for a walk. After breakfast, I spend the morning catching up on phone calls and e-mails. I eat my lunch outside in my backyard. The view is spectacular and it always feels like a mini-vacation seeing the mountains and the city! Then I spend the rest of the day working on my latest book. Three days a week I go horseback riding or I go to the gym and work out with weights. I also like to hike on the trails near my house. And at night, I love getting into bed with my dog and cats and reading, especially biographies.
Q. Animals with active imaginations are an important part of your stories. How does your love of animals influence your work?
A. I have always loved animals as much as I love books. I still have the Field Guide to Dogs from when I was a child. I used to memorize as many breeds as I could. My dog, Sydney, is an Australian Shepherd. I also have two cats, Lily and Petunia. Sydney’s a sheepherder but since I don’t have any sheep, he herds my cats! They put up with it but you can tell by the look on their faces that they’re not amused! I often find them sleeping together, which is the cutest thing. One day I’d love to live on a farm and have llamas, cows, miniature horses, a few sheep, and more dogs and cats! Being such an animal lover, I try to write my books about them!
Q. Speaking of animals, Laura Numeroff’s 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster features a different kind of pet. How did you become such an expert on monsters?
A. I saw my first monster in my backyard. I made a note of it and continued to be on the lookout for more. Over the years, through all my travels, I’ve become quite the expert and have done extensive research on the behavior of monsters. They never fail to amaze me! I’m still hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare Jiggledy Finkler!
Q. What books inspired you to become a writer?
A. As soon as I was old enough to have my very own library card, I would take out six books at a time (that was the maximum) and go back for more the following week. I loved Stuart Little by E. B. White, Eloise by Kay Thompson, and any book by Marguerite Henry or Beverly Cleary.
Q. The If You Give a... series is so beloved by children. How do you feel when you see the way children react to your books?
A. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see a young child happily clutching my book in anticipation of me autographing it. When they tell me it’s their favorite book, I am so touched and honored! But I’ll never forget the little boy who said, "You’re ruining my book," as I signed my name in it! I only hope kids enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed reading my favorites when I was a kid.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I take this book with me all the time, as I am a substitute teacher. Children love this book, and I can easily read it to a kindergarten class all the way up to a third grade class. I love all of the Numeroff books, and I am looking forward to more from her.
If You Take A Mouse To School is a book that will catch a kids attention. Felicia Bond drew really bright pictures and was very creative with her illustrations. Everything the author was saying matched really well with the illustrations. Laura Numeroff was a good author, but the writing was too short and simple, it needs more detail. This book is mostly entertaining because of the illustrations. Overall, I do not recommend this book because children would not be excited by the story, only by the illustrations.
This book, along with Laura Numeroff's other books, is excellent. It was a great book to use on the first day of school in my classroom.
A wonderful book! Kids like me would love this book for a gift.
Similar to the other Mouse books, kids really like it because it shows how things can easily get out of control. Great childrens humor book.
This story is so fun for kids that they'll be wanting to bring mice of their own to school. The pictures are great and make you want to laugh! Definitely recommended!
I found "If You Take a Mouse to School" very fun, as did my children. The illustrations are what really make this book so good."
The enormously popular "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" picture book has proved to have tremendous staying power, and so, naturally enough, it spawned the sequels "If You Give A Moose A Muffin," "If You Give A Pig A Pancake," and "If You Take A Mouse To The Movies." Each features the same chain-reaction story structure, with varying degrees of success. Can lightning strike a fourth time with the new "If You Take A Mouse To School"? Sticking with the silent little mouse protagonist is a sure-footed first step, as is the story-rich school setting. After all, what better location to help young ones identify with the mouse's enthusiastic antics?
This book was presented to 60 Early Childhood Staff. The overall response was an enjoyment for this story. Enjoyed it.... Thanks