Mouse Stories in Children's Books and Nursery Rhymes
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?
- "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."
- "At six o'clock in the morning of her birthday, Mrs. Grey's Husband was killed and eaten."
- "Night winds, moaning around corners and whistling through cracks, dashed snow against the windows of the Mountain View Inn."
- "Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse was the youngest of thirteen children."
- "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."
- "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.
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.
- Click here to read Rose Fyleman's poem "Mice."
Rose Fyleman's Poem "Mice" is simple and straightforward and just right to introduce a young child to poetry.
Stuart Little - by E.B. White
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Redwall is the first book in the well-loved adventure series. This series of books was my son's favorite when he was in elementary school. He would disappear in his room with one of these books and we wouldn't see him for long stretches of time. If your child likes stories of adventure and daring, maybe this series will become his favorite, too.
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