Mouse House - Rumer Godden

New York Review Children's Collection


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Mouse House by Rumer Godden, illustrated by Adrienne Adams / ISBN 9781590179987 / 72-page hardback, 5.75 x 8.75 inches, from The New York Review Children’s Collection (reprinting a 1957 book)


“Once upon a time there was a little mouse house. It was like a doll’s house, but not for dolls, for mice.” Not proper mice, but a flannel He-Mouse and She-Mouse with beady eyes and bristle whiskers who stand quite still, propped on their hind legs in the sitting room. Mary knows real mice run and scamper, and disappointed with her new gift, she puts the mouse house away in her room. Meanwhile, down in the basement, a real mouse named Bonnie has been jostled out of her woefully inadequate flowerpot home by her older brothers and sisters. Overlooked by her harried parents and desperate for shelter, Bonnie ventures upstairs and finds the mouse house. And before too long what was a miniature make-believe house becomes a marvelously messy home for proper mice who know how to play, much to everyone’s delight.

"Rumer Godden has scaled her story perfectly and has written it in bright, lucid will give the reader suspense in miniature and [a] sense of comfort." —The New York Times

"The story's details are chosen with precision, and Godden gets the balance just right in her portrayal of her mouse characters: they act both like real mice (shredding the contents of the Mouse House to make a cozy nest) and people (two of Bonnie's sisters make dolls out of silk flowers). Adams's illustrations are old-fashioned but lively, perfect for this small-scope but very satisfying adventure." —Martha V. Parravano, The Horn Book Magazine

"Rumer Godden has combined imagination and realism to produce a children's book of charm and originality." —Globe and Mail

Rumer Godden (1907–1998) grew up in India, where her father ran a steamship company. She wrote more than sixty books for adults and young adults, several of which, including An Episode of Sparrows,and The Mousewife have been published in The New York Review Children’s Collection.

Adrienne Adams (1906–2002) was a children’s book illustrator who won two Caldecott Honors (for Alice E. Goudey’s Houses from the Sun in 1959 and The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up in 1961) and the Rutgers Award for her contribution to children’s literature. She illustrated more than thirty books, including the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm.

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