Mahalia Mouse Goes to College



Animated, rhyming tale is a treat to read aloud.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Through her own persistence and other people's tolerance, Mahalia lives her dreams.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this simple, inspiring book packs a big message about love and dedication to learning.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Mahalia Mouse leaves her struggling family to find her future at college.

Is it any good?


While lots of stars write books for kids, few have the talent to do the job; John Lithgow, however, is one who consistently produces terrific books for young readers. MAHALIA MOUSE GOES TO COLLEGE is no exception. Originally written as his commencement speech for the Harvard class of '05 (a recording of the speech on CD is included), this rhyming story naturally translates to an intriguing picture book.

Lithgow understands the power of rhythm and rhyme, making his books lots of fun to "perform" as read-alouds. He also conveys a love of words, using a vocabulary that is challenging for the littlest kids but within an easy-to-understand context. Igor Oleynikov's illustrations are finely detailed, as suits a book about a mouse. Dark colors wash through the first part of the story, but the colors warm and brighten as Mahalia finds her footing in school.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about college -- how is it different from elementary school? What kinds of responsibilities do college students have in school? Families can share their own favorite subjects and even play school together.

Book details

Author:John Lithgow
Illustrator:Igor Oleynikov
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:March 27, 2007
Number of pages:40
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8

This review of Mahalia Mouse Goes to College was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byiwik2000 April 9, 2008


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide