Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary Book Poster Image
Mighty mouse tale sure to tickle kids of all ages.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a story of a girl and a mouse who lead parallel lives. People who have no problem with the anthropomorphism of animals will appreciate the cuteness of the story and love the friendship that develops.

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What's the story?

When Mary discovers that a mouse family lives in her house, she begins to drop her fork every night at dinner, just so she can wave to one little mouse girl who waves back. Both Mary and the mouse go about similar lives, go to school, grow up, and move on. They miss each other, but eventually share the same house again, when as adults, they each have a family, and Mary's daughter Maria takes her relationship with the mouse's daughter one step further.

Is it any good?

With its soft yet vibrant colors, retro print style, and characters that look like throwbacks to the '40s or '50s, this book has a classic look to it. But the story is new, and quite unique and captivating. MARY AND THE MOUSE, THE MOUSE AND MARY is the story of a two-way relationship that grows and changes over two different generations. The scenery changes as the characters grow up, move away, and then have families of their own -- the look of the '50s gives way to the '60s, '70s, and so on.

Readers of all ages will appreciate the detailed illustrations rendered in pen and ink, watercolor and gouache. They will have fun finding the parallels in the worlds of the little girl and mouse, and love the friendly curiosity that draws the two of them together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the parallel worlds of the girl and the mouse and the ways they follow one another and nearly intersect. They can also point out fun details that grace every page. Kids will recognize the furniture in the human household and be amazed at the clever little things the mice use to furnish their home in much the same way, like the egg carton sofa. What else do you see? Would you like having a mouse in your house? How is Mary a different sort of mouse?

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