While researching for a different blog, I actually had the most challenging time finding informative mouse books… can you believe that!? But I’ll tell you why. When you look for books on mice, your search is likely to return tons (and I mean tons) of children's tales. Mice, for years, have been wildly popular as characters in books and movies for kids. I don't really remember being super into mice growing up. I mean, I owned them and loved them completely, but my room wasn't a "mouse room," and I didn't have posters of Stuart Little on my wall.
So why are mice such a popular "go-to" for kid stories? Mice are the tiny "strong but mighty" furry stand-ins for children themselves, the unlikely heroes of the story (Stuart Little, Ralph S. Mouse, even Mickey himself. Or they're the cheerful helper (think Gus in Cinderella). Or they're the cleverest character of all who can outsmart anyone (Jerry from Tom and Jerry or Beatrix Potter, anyone?). Mice are small and secretive, much like children, and children know what it's like to be tiny and helpless in a big, gigantic world. And plus, mice are brave because they live super close to big people. Strong, mighty, cheerful, clever, brave: what fantastic qualities to have! And a mouse has them all. So, let’s jump into some of the best children’s books on mice.
Stuart Little, E.B. White
Every time I read this book (a few times a year), I end up in tears. Not because of the sadness, but because of the friendship. Kindness and acceptance of those who differ from us, patience, tolerance, and support are just some of the many positive themes found throughout. E.B. White does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into Stuart's world. If you haven't read it, please do. It has the power to be such an excellent piece of childhood, and such a wonderful piece of adulthood, as the parent reading it. Get yours here. Kleenex sold separately.
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Laura Numeroff
Who doesn’t love this book? I mean, it couldn’t be cuter, and the illustrations are to die for. Kids absolutely love the way the story comes full circle. It makes sense, even to the smallest of minds. The mischievous mouse is so relatable to young children. Perfect for younger children, because it really makes them wonder what will happen next. Engaging, simple, playful, and perfect. A total classic.
Frederick, Leo Lionni
My favorite part of this book is the message (followed closely by the illustrations). It's the story of a mouse, Frederick. Instead of helping physically prepare for the upcoming winter, Frederick is preparing mentally, gathering imaginary sun rays for the cold winter days to come. Lionni does a fabulous job showing how we all have different ways of making contributions. Meaningful work isn't always visible with the naked eye, especially if you're of the creative sort. Not all humans are the same, and the world needs different types of talents and personalities to make it through the winter. Buy Frederick here. The Spanish version is also available.
Harry The Happy Mouse, N G K
A beautifully written rhyming book, Harry The Mouse allows children to use their imaginations and wonder what will happen next. It's a story about kindness (who doesn't love a story about kindness?) and how paying it forward really makes the world a better place. Harry is the best teacher: he teaches the young (and reminds the old) that one good turn deserves another. With stunning artwork and vivid colors, this is a must-have. Treat yourself, your child, or gift to someone who deserves a little kindness in their life. Go here.
It's no wonder that mice are some of the most used characters in children's stories. If you're still wondering why, just read these books on mice. Children can relate to them on the most basic level. They're cute, lovable, and they're very small. But very mighty.
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