Tuesday, 5 June 2012

I think mice are nice!

Have you ever noticed how many children’s books feature mice? I was busy cataloguing yesterday when I realised that five of the books in the pile all had mouse or mice in the title. Once I started thinking about mice I couldn’t stop – hence this post.

Not all have the word mouse or mice in the title, but all include mice, in one way or another.

The painter Mouse by Brian Anson published by Methuen Children’s books in 1973. Pierre is a mouse who paints. Henri is a hippopotamus who wears a medal. This is their story! Rag, Tag and Bobtail by Louise Cochrane published in 1954. Bobtail, the rabbit, was very fond of digging. One day he began to dig a new sort of hole, straight down. When Rag, the hedgehog, and Tag, the mouse asked him to play, he said, "No, I'm digging a special hole..."  Sweet Nutcracker by David Kossoff (signed copy) published by Robson Books in 1985. When the vicious Mouse Queen, Rodentia, puts a malevolent spell on the Princess Pirlipatine changing her from the most exquisitely beautiful baby to a plain creature with spots, everyone is in despair. The mice who lived in a shoe by Rodney Peppe published by Puffin Books in 1987. A family of mice living in an old leaky shoe find a wonderful way to rebuild their home.

Rex the rectory mouse by Leonard and Walter Townsend, The Thames Publishing company, 1950. A mouse's tale by Wayne Anderson Published by Harper Collins, 1984.  In order to win the hand of his sweetheart, Princess Barley Mow, this mouse sets out on a dangerous and difficult quest. Patsy Mouse by Geoffrey Ford with pretty illustrations by Helen Haywood. Published in 1947 by Ward Lock. Patsy Wood-mouse lived in a fine house inside the trunk of a tree, but a terrible thunderstorm split the trunk in half and left her home in ruins…The mice of Nibbling Village by Margaret Greaves published in 1986. Margaret Greaves introduces such characters as Belinda Bookery, Moorikin and Thomas Ticklebrain and tells each of their stories in verse.

Squeak-a-lot by Martin Waddell published by Walker Books in 1991 - comes complete with paper masks of Squeak-a-lot and a frieze to colour. Where are you Ernest and Celestine? by Gabrielle Vincent published by Julie MacRae Books in 1986. Ernest the bear has sheltered and looked after Celestine the baby mouse ever since he discovered her in some rubbish. In this story, Ernest applies for a job in an art gallery; he is unsuccessful but while there he, and Celestine decided to take a look around - and end up losing each other. Trubloff by John Burningham published in 1972. The exciting adventure of Trubloff the mouse who wanted to play the Balalaika and his journey across Russia.

A day with Mary Mouse Enid Blyton. Published by Brockhampton in 1958. After becoming exiled from her home Mary Mouse finds a job as a maid at a doll's house. Mickey Mouse Annual published in 1943 by Dean. Any post about mice just has to include Mickey!

I think mice are nice. 
Their tails are long, their faces small, they haven't any chins at all. 
Their ears are pink, their teeth are white, they run about the house at night. 
They nibble things they shouldn't touch and no one seems to like them much. 
But I think mice are nice. 
Rose Fyleman.

All kinds of famous mice keep popping into my thoughts – each with noses and ears twitching!

These are just a few; the tale of two bad mice, the tale of Johnny town-mouse and the tale of Mrs. Titlemouse all by Beatrix Potter. The mice of Brambly Hedge written by Jill Barklem, Angelina Ballerina and of course Stuart Little – can you think of any more?

Update July 2016: All the featured books are now sold. March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I am still happily blogging here at March of Time Books. Your visits are always appreciated.


  1. Is there Mouse Soup? Arnold Lobel I think and my daughter loved it when she was little.

  2. This explains a lot! I love mice as a child and even had a stuffed mouse stuffed animal. Maybe this came from all the books I read- they certainly make mice look very cute. :) The books you listed are fantastic- some I have read and some are new to me. I also liked The Mouse and the Strawberry when I was little. Of course- Stuart Little was a favorite!

  3. These are just so good. I think the illustrations are really well done. I can't imagine putting all the detail in that some of these pictures have.

  4. Mice are nice (in books).

    I love the Little Grey Mouse books.

  5. Joleene Naylor6 June 2012 at 05:19

    I love mice!

    When I was a kid our church had a "country mouse/city mouse" book that came with a little playset - it had a "house" made of cardboard that was the city house on one side and the country on the other. and two fuzzy "mice". I loved that....

  6. barbaraannefisher6 June 2012 at 16:32

    I forgot all about mouse soup – thanks for the reminder. I hope readers don’t think we are discussing lunch!

  7. barbaraannefisher6 June 2012 at 16:41

    Hi Sally, absolutely!

  8. barbaraannefisher6 June 2012 at 18:19

    Hi Jess, I had to Google the mouse and the strawberry as it’s a new one to me. It looks really sweet. I think Stuart Little is a favourite with lots of people (me included).

  9. barbaraannefisher6 June 2012 at 18:21

    Hello Donna, I’ve always wanted to draw (and play the piano), but sadly, I can’t do either. Still I can enjoy all the wonderful illustrations in children’s books, and I’m pleased you liked them too.

  10. barbaraannefisher6 June 2012 at 18:28

    Yes, Little Grey Mice books are lovely. I like mice in books and in real-life – so long as they don’t invade my home! A few years back we lived in a house that had mice. I would catch them and return them to the fields - but they always got home before me!

  11. barbaraannefisher6 June 2012 at 18:42

    The country mouse/city mouse book sounds lovely – I would have loved that cardboard house and the fuzzy mice when I was small. My son used to like ‘fuzzy felt’ play sets – you got lots of fuzzy pieces (people, animals, cars, etc.,) and a board to ‘stick’ them to. Great fun!


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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