Friday, January 11, 2008

Whose Mouse are You?

As a huge fan of children's literature, I thought the lead-up to Chinese New Year on February 7th would be fun if I introduced some of my favorite books starring mice.

OK, I also have an ulterior motive - I've never been too pleased about my own Chinese astrology sign being the rat, so now that we're kicking off a new zodiac cycle, I figured it was time to celebrate my animal in style.

The first one is Whose Mouse Are You?, a delightfully-illustrated story of a little mouse's journey to save his family and become a big sibling mouse. It's one of the stories I remember most vividly from my early childhood.

Whose Mouse Are You, by Robert Kraus
Illustrated by Jose Aruego. Originally published 1970

"My brother's mouse - he's brand new."

Next up, we have my favorite illustrator, David Christiana, bringing us lovely mice in his interpretation of the classic folktale "Mouse Bride." If you're not familiar with this story, a mouse seeking her mate courts the sun, the wind, and others, before she discovers the most powerful one of all - another mouse.

Masterful writer and illustrator Ed Young also has a version of this tale, titled Mouse Match. His is executed in his typical cut paper and ink style, and is presented as a wonderful accordion book. The reverse of all the pages presents the tale in Chinese.

While we're talking about Ed Young, I shouldn't fail to mention his Caldecott Award-winning Seven Blind Mice. This gorgeous, boldly-illustrated book is an easy crowd pleaser, as the readers are led through the adventure of seven mice trying to piece together their individual interpretations of an elephant. A classic Asian folktale.

What are your favorite stories about mice? I'll be back to feature more, and I'd love to hear about yours.


Numinosity said...

oooh the secret of nimh! oooh love that one.

Anonymous said...

what a lovely blog! Of course you named my favorite:whose mouse are you? and I love seven blind mice so I will have to check out the other by ed young. The Dark at the Top of the Stairs is also a great story about some mice children who want to explore in spite of their grandfathers admonitions about what is at the top of the basement stairs (a cat!). a sweet story about courage, fears and exploration. mama

Laurie said...

Whose Mouse Are You is certainly on my top 5 most loved children's books list! And it is still in print!

I like Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh! Happy Year of the Rat- what a great post!