Mahalia Mouse Goes to College

Common Sense Media says

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.

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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 regardless of their famous names. John Lithgow is one who consistently produces terrific books for young readers, and 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

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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Teen, 13 years old Written byiwik2000 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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