Author: Susan Pearson
Illustrator: Amanda Shepherd
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
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Mouse House Tales is divided into two "tales"--the first, a classic "animals helping animals" story when various forest animals come together to help Mouse build a new house, and the second a "mystery."
In the first part, Mouse needs a new house so Wren, Spider, Goat and others come together to help her build one. Spider spins curtains. A bird offers an eggshell for a chair. Goat offers cheese...insistently.
Although I think the story would have been better if the animals had real names (why are so many characters in children's books named 'Dog' and 'Cat' and 'Horse'?) it was otherwise very good.
The second half of the book is a little strange. Mouse is settle into her new house when she is awoken by mysterious sounds. Thinking she has a ghost, she sets out to trap it--again with help from her friends--but it turns out she actually has another mouse in her house (this was the "mystery"). A wandering mouse named Malachi Gimcrack, or Mack for short (why does HE get a name?), has been breaking into her house to sneak food. But Miss Mouse tells him he can stay and the book abruptly ends. (Was there supposed to be a third story? I feel like there was.)
This book is charming and had my three-year-old and I talking about it even the next day. Here's what Magda had to say:
"I liked that Mouse House mystery book. It was a good book. It was really great how all the animals helped each other and no one tried to eat each other, like the mouse and the bird didn't even try to eat the spider. It's good that there was no cat in the story or he would have caught them all!
The goat was a little mean or a little rude because he kept saying, "Let's eat some cheese! Let's eat some cheese!" when they were doing stuff. He kept trying to wander them off [she means distract them] from building the house.
I like the part where the bird gave an eggshell for the mouse to live in. That was really sweet.
I think at the end when the mouse who was a girl kept hearing that "creeeak creeeak" it was just the other mouse who was a boy who was making all that noise. Then if Mouse's house got broken again the boy mouse could help her fix it this time."
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