Mahalia Mouse Goes to College

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Mahalia Mouse Goes to College Book Poster Image
Animated, rhyming tale is a treat to read aloud.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive messages

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

Violence & scariness

What parents need to know

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

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Teen, 13 years old Written byiwik2000 April 9, 2008

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.

Talk to your kids 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.

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