Mouse and His Child

Dear Reader,

Have you read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis? Have you read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White? If so, you know how great truths about life can be hidden in stories about ordinary people and ordinary animals. Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban is another great story to warm your heart. It will make you cry and laugh, worry and rejoice. It is the story of some small little windup toys, besieged by rats, struggling to find a place they can call home. 

Be warned: this novel was published over 50 years ago and so the language is slightly different than what you are used to reading in more recently published books. The vocabulary is more sophisticated. And the story is not short. But the lively writing will carry you through the 244 pages in no time at all. Have fun!

Hoban, Russell. Mouse and His Child. New York : Scholastic Inc., 2017, c2001.

By the way, you might like to notice the illustrations when you read the book. They’re by David Small, who has illustrated many fine picture books. You might like to try some picture books by Russell Hoban, too: A Bargain for Frances and Bread and Jam for Frances. They’re for younger readers but they’ll make you laugh and remember your own younger years. 

Ms. R. 

P.S. If you are 8 years old and already a very good reader, you might like to try more of the stories on THIS PAGE.

World Oceans Day

June 8th is World Oceans Day!

‘World Oceans Day’ was officially recognized, in 2008, by the United Nations General Assembly after a proposal, in 1992, by the Government of Canada.

 “Without water, our planet would be one of the billions of lifeless rocks floating endlessly in the vastness of the inky-black void.” – Fabien Cousteau, oceanographic explorer

Gerstein, Mordecai. The Boy and the Whale. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2017.
A young boy and his father rescue a whale tangled in their net in this life-affirming story based on a real-life event. The expressive illustrations, well-designed pages, and  smoothly flowing text combine to make this a wonderful picture book for children and young teenagers. 

“I spent uncounted hours sitting at the bow looking at the water and the sky, studying each wave, different from the last, seeing how it caught the light, the air, the wind; watching patterns, the sweep of it all, and letting it take me. The sea.” – Gary Paulsen, Caught by the Sea 

More ocean books

 Learn more about World Oceans Day!

Marino, Gianna. Following Papa’s Song. New York: Viking, 2014.  
Full-page illustrations colourfully illustrate this story about the migration of humpback whales. Recommended for children up to seven years of age.

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, poet

A story of survival…

Lawrence, Iain. The Skeleton Tree. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2016.
Twelve-year-old Chris and fifteen-year-old Frank, two recently bereaved boys from Vancouver, struggle to survive in the wilderness after their sailboat capsizes off the coast of Alaska. They also struggle to get along with each other. This 278-page novel full of descriptive details – and a bit of the supernatural – will appeal to competent readers 11 to 15 years old who enjoy realistic stories. An afterward provides background information about the author’s experiences in the Pacific Northwest. [Alaska; Fathers and sons; Survival; Ravens; Wilderness areas]

More stories of survival

More stories set in the U.S.A.

More stories of grief

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed