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Mouse Stories in Children's Books and Nursery Rhymes

Updated on March 28, 2018
sheilamarie78 profile image

Sheila is the author of the Fiona the Theater Mouse series of children's books, as well as Treasure in a Mountain Cave. She is also a poet.

Mouse Characters in Stories and Poems for Children

A mouse is small, vulnerable, and seemingly insignificant. A child can identify with that feeling within the family and in the world at large. But mice in stories are also challenged to be courageous in spite of size and clever in spite of vulnerability. Identifying with a mouse protagonist helps a child find those qualities inside herself when facing a world where everyone is bigger, stronger, and sometimes threatening.

In addition, mice are everywhere. Especially for children who live in rural areas, mice can be found in surprising places. A friend visiting told us how when he was camping with his grandson, he put on a jacket and two mice dropped out of his sleeve! A child told us once how he woke up one morning and a mouse was hiding in his slipper! Doesn't that sound as if it came straight from a children's book?

This hub is all about mice that are characters in children's books. Of course, it would be impossible to include every possible mouse character, as the list is very, very long, but I will add new ones as time goes on, so come back and visit if you like stories. I will even introduce you to a new mouse character you have never heard of before. In fact, she's hot off the press.


Hickory Dickory Dock

The mouse went up the clock

The clock struck one

And down he'd come

Hickory Dickory Dock!

First Sentences of Some Mouse Stories - Can You Guess Which Book Each Is From?

Answers appear in the pink box below.

  1. "The small brown mouse named Ralph who was hiding under the grandfather clock did not have much longer to wait before he could ride his motorcycle."
  2. "At six o'clock in the morning of her birthday, Mrs. Grey's Husband was killed and eaten."
  3. "Night winds, moaning around corners and whistling through cracks, dashed snow against the windows of the Mountain View Inn."
  4. "Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse was the youngest of thirteen children."
  5. "No one in the Noodle Soup Community Theater knew about the mouse family living behind the dressing room wall, but Wilson, the janitor, had his suspicions."
  6. "Early in August 1907, the first year of their marriage, Abel and Amanda went to picnic in the woods some distance from the town where they lived."

Wordless Book About Mice

The Little Mouse Trapped in a Book (also called The Plane Book) by Monique Felix.

When my children were little we "read" this wordless book over and over again. Ingenious story about a clever mouse stuck in a book. He finds a solution to his dilemma by tearing out a page and making a paper airplane that he can ride into a field of grain. The illustrations are beautiful in how they show the passing of time and the activity in the field and farm yard as the mouse works on his plane. The second to last page finds him sailing into the air on his plane right into the grain. The final page shows him feasting on the long ears of grain.

My children really enjoyed this book that tells a story without words. Children can tell what they see happening in the pictures as they work their way through the book.

Fiona the Theater Mouse

by Sheila Murray-Nellis

Fiona was born behind the wall in the dressing room closet while the Noodle Soup Community Theater was practicing the play "Brigadoon." Making friends with a bat named Bart expands Fiona's horizons and helps her find solutions when her family is in danger. She also proves a true friend when Bart gets caught by the janitor.

Fiona, the Theater Mouse is a chapter book of 65 pages. It's divided into ten chapters with black and white line drawings. There's a limited glossary at the end and a study guide is available, too.


Fiona, the Theater Mouse
Fiona, the Theater Mouse | Source

Mouse Poetry

Do you remember the poem "Mice," by Rose Fyleman, that begins and ends with the line, "I think mice are nice"?

None of us likes it when a mouse family moves into our house. What is it about mice that makes our skin crawl? What makes them cute in a children's story? It seems to be a contradiction. What do you think?

Here's a Link to Rose Fyleman's Poem "Mice." - I Love This Mouse Poem!

What a great poem for a child to memorize! This poem's lines are short, they rhyme, and they are easy to remember because they are fun.

Rose Fyleman's poem "Mice" is a great choice for teachers to present to their class, especially if they want a fun poem for kids to memorize. I think it would be perfect for children in grades one to three.

Stuart Little - by E.B. White

Stuart Little Book and Charm (Charming Classics)
Stuart Little Book and Charm (Charming Classics)

Stuart Little is the smallest member of the Little family. His size makes him able to do important things, such as retrieve Mrs. Little's wedding ring which has been dropped down the drain or ride on the model sailboat on the pond in Central Park. Stuart goes off to seek his fortune and has adventures there, too.

Made into a motion picture a few years ago, Stuart Little has had new rise in popularity. Children will love his plucky outlook.

 

Videos About Your Favorite Mice

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - by Robert C. O'Brien

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby must move her family because their home is in danger of being destroyed by the approach of a tractor. She is able to get the help of the Rats of Nimh. But what is the secret that makes these rats so unusual?

 

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

The Mouse and the Motorcycle - by Beverly Cleary

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph Mouse Book 1)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph Mouse Book 1)

This is the first in the Ralph Mouse series. A mouse in an old hotel finds a little boy's toy motorcycle and puts it to good use while all -- well, most -- of the people are sleeping.

 

A Mouse Called Wolf - by Dick King-Smith

A Mouse Called Wolf
A Mouse Called Wolf

Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse -- what a name! But Wolfgang, or Wolf for short, has a talent like no other mouse you've ever known. Wolf is the first ever singing mouse! His talent wins the heart of Miss Honeybee, the music-loving woman who shares his space, and is even the way he saves her life!

 

Dick King Smith Interview

Three Terrible Trins - by Dick King-Smith

Three Terrible Trins
Three Terrible Trins

Dick King-Smith is a master at telling a rollicking tale! His three mouse brothers -- the trins -- in this story create havoc for the resident cat. This is a really fun book!

Dick King-Smith is known for his humor and for his unique, kid friendly perspective. Both of these traits are more than evident in this book in which the characters are filled with hilarious characteristics.

 

The School Mouse - by Dick King-Smith

The School Mouse
The School Mouse

Again Dick King-Smith gives an endearing tale about a mouse, this one an aspiring scholar who is underappreciated by her family and friends. However, when danger is upon them, her abiliity to read words like "poison" is what saves their lives. King-Smith paints the characters lovingly and with authenticity.

 

Abel's Island by William Steig, Read by a Young Reader

Abel's Island - by William Steig

Abel's Island (Newbery Award & Honor Books (Paperback))
Abel's Island (Newbery Award & Honor Books (Paperback))

A Newbery Award & Honor Book. Newlyweds Abel and Amanda are caught in a storm while picnicking. In trying to rescue his beloved Amanda's scarf from the wind, Abel lunges from the safety of a cave to retrieve it. He is swept away by a stream and carried off to an island where he must confront the natural world. His imagination and ingenuity are challenged to find a way to get off this island and back to the arms of beloved Amanda.

 

Doctor De Soto - by William Steig

Doctor De Soto
Doctor De Soto

Dr. De Soto is a mouse, a dentist, and a brave soul indeed. What will he do when a fox comes with an aching tooth?

William Steig uses strong vocabulary and excellent story telling skills in this picture book for children. Children will admire this tiny dentist for his courage and quick thinking skills.

 

Dr. De Soto by William Steig

Mouse Tales - by Arnold Lobel

Mouse Tales (I Can Read Level 2)
Mouse Tales (I Can Read Level 2)

Arnold Lobel's books are wonderful beginner reader books with funny, lovable characters. Here is the story of seven mouse brothers who can't sleep. Their father tells them seven tales, one for each of them.

Join these young mice as they listen to their father's tales. Who do you think will fall asleep first?

 

The Rescuers - by Margery Sharpe

The Rescuers: A Fantasy
The Rescuers: A Fantasy

This book was recommended by vallain in the Guestbook. In 1977, Disney made a film based on these books featuring the voices of Eva Gabor and Bob Newhart.

A young orphan in danger sends a message in a bottle which two mice discover. Thus begins an adventure of rescue and intrigue.

 

First Sentence Answers

1. Runaway Ralph

by Beverly Cleary

2.Three Terrible Trins

by Dick King-Smith

3. Ralph S. Mouse

by Beverly Cleary

4. A Mouse Called Wolf

by Dick King-Smith

5. Fiona, the Theater Mouse

by Sheila Murray-Nellis

6. Abel's Island

by William Steig

My Own Book

Shared Just for Fun

I have published a couple of children's books with mice as the main or one of the main characters. The first book, to which I've referred here, is entitled Fiona the Theater Mouse.

Below you will find the video of myself reading the first chapter. I warn you -- the video is amateurish. It's the first time I have used this function on my camera and I have yet to perfect both my technological skill and my actual reading. However, I'm sharing it with you here for fun.

P.S. I am US-born and the Fiona story was written while I lived in Vermont. I now live in Canada and am well aware that in most countries in which English is spoken, the word "theater" is spelled "theatre." However, I've left the US spelling intact, along with the US spellings of other words in the text, because that's the "correct" spelling in the story's context. I've become a little uncertain lately in my spelling choices, seeing as how I am a dual country person. But, on the other hand, most people who speak and read English are familiar with this discrepancy.

Oops! Something went wrong with my video. I'll have to remake it and post it later. Sorry about that. Thanks for your patience.

What About That World Famous Mouse -- Mickey?

The Disney Mouse

Mickey Mouse has become a bit bigger than his britches, don't you think? He's loved by many. He's scoffed at, too, as in "That's a Mickey Mouse idea!"

Nevertheless, who can say he hasn't been a part of our childhoods, at least for those of us in North America, though since the creation of a Disneyland in France and elsewhere, those living in other countries have adopted Mickey Mouse, too.

Mickey and his friends are happy, carefree characters who always look on the bright side. Don't we all need to be a little "mickey mouse" sometimes?

There are loads of Mickey Mouse books out there starring this famous mouse. I've decided not to include any of them here -- no disrespect intended, Mickey. They may be fun to read, but it's just that they're -- you know -- a bit "Mickey Mouse."

He gets enough hype elsewhere anyway. He's even got some big fans among my family members. But I have to confess, he's not my favorite mouse.

© 2010 Sheilamarie

Thanks for Sharing Some of My Favorite Mouse Stories - Squeak a Few Words to Me!

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    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      3 years ago from Canada

      I'm not surprised that there are so many mice-themed books but you have found many that I have not seen.

    • sheilamarie78 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheilamarie 

      3 years ago from British Columbia

      Thanks, DeborahDian! I have those mixed feelings, too.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      3 years ago from Orange County, California

      Mice are so adorable when we read about them in children's stories ... and so awful when we see one in real life! LOL This is a terrific collection of stories!

    • sheilamarie78 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheilamarie 

      5 years ago from British Columbia

      @mecheshier: You're welcome, mecheshier. Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny sure are classics!

    • profile image

      mecheshier 

      5 years ago

      Mice are my favorite animal character in children's books. I must state that Margaret Wise Brown is my favorite children's book author. Thank you for such a wonderful list!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 

      5 years ago

      Had forgotten about Stuart Little! Mice are really nice.

    • profile image

      Anna2of5 

      6 years ago

      My husband's family have a sweet story they love and that they have introduced to our family its called Whose Mouse Are You by Robert Kraus, pictures by Jose Aruego. ist copywright was 1970, the Aladdin Books edition is 1986. I hope you like it as much as our family has. :D

    • profile image

      aishu19 

      6 years ago

      so many books with mice!...its true there are so many ways one could relate with a nice..nicely done!

    • sheilamarie78 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheilamarie 

      6 years ago from British Columbia

      @indigoj: I agree with you, WordCustard, so I've taken off the Three Blind Mice rhyme.

      Yes, the old nursery rhymes were often quite dark and the fairy tales even more so. I guess they were told as a way to inoculate children against the evils of the world, but we don't have to like all of these dark tails . . . er, tales, I mean.

    • sheilamarie78 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheilamarie 

      6 years ago from British Columbia

      @Virginia Allain: Thanks, Vallain! I've added it above.

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 

      6 years ago

      Well what do you know? I never noticed so many mice in children's book. Thanks for the introduction to "The Plane" (a.k.a. The Story of a Little Mouse Trapped in a Book). It looks absolutely adorable.

    • profile image

      slotowngal 

      7 years ago

      Found some old favorites on your list of Mouse-y books! Thanks for a great lens. Angel blessed.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 

      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed visiting your lens. And, I whole-heartedly agree with so many of your book recommendations. Great job!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      7 years ago

      Great lens! I learned so much about why mice are almost always in children story books.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 

      7 years ago from USA

      I love the Beverly Cleary books. My son would never read them because the movie The Mouse & the Motorcycle scared him, but the book is so wonderful and funny. I always introduce the books first - what was I thinking??

      Anyway, I adore mousy stories. Part of the charm i how different things look from their perspective!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      These are all great stories, but you might want to add The Rescuers and Miss Bianca. I loved those books.

    • vanidiana24 profile image

      vanidiana24 

      7 years ago

      White mouse seems cute but mice who live in water canals are terrible! Nice lens! :)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      What a cute lens. I think mice are adorable so I loved your selection of books and those sweet little puppets especially. Not so keen on the 3 Blind Mice nursery rhyme... bit cruel, but then children's rhymes and fairytales often were very dark.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 

      7 years ago from Australia

      The first story that popped into my head about mice is the town mouse and the country mouse. I guess mice are popular in stories because they can look so cute.

    • sheilamarie78 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheilamarie 

      7 years ago from British Columbia

      @eclecticeducati1: Thanks, eclecticeducation!

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 

      7 years ago

      Great lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I always favored the mouse stories and little mouse paintings in the sweet English fairytales-the creator's name has scurried from my memory-but the dancing mice are blatantly "cutting the rug, kicking up their heels"!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      Obviously, I love mice. I think some of my all time favorites were the mice on "Babe" singing "Blue Moon." I love all of the little mouse items and books you have featured here.

    • sheilamarie78 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheilamarie 

      8 years ago from British Columbia

      @missbat: Thanks, missbat. I loved him, too, though the ending always baffled me. Oh Margolo, where did you go?

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 

      8 years ago

      Stuart Little was one of my favorite books that we read in grade school. Looks like you've selected some really wonderful mice "tails" on this lens!

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