Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends

Common Sense Media says

Warm friendship tale may inspire kids to go out and explore.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Mouse and Mole listen to different bird calls to try to find and identify birds. They think about bird behavior to decide where to look for birds. They learn about nests by building one, and use their field observations to create a book of artwork and poems.

Positive messages

Plans for a fun outing don’t go quite as expected, but Mouse and Mole turn challenges into opportunities for still more fun. Friendship, cooperation, problem-solving, teamwork, patience: It’s all here. A sense of humor, creativity, and collaboration help them fulfill their goal without giving in to frustration.

Positive role models

Mouse and Mole are wonderful models of friendship. They play off each other’s ideas and admire each other’s talents, working together to create something greater than either would have accomplished alone.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the friends in this warm tale model great friendship skills, working together to solve problems and create a keepsake together.

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What's the story?

On a blustery spring day, Mouse and Mole want to go bird watching and make bird books, but the birds are too easily frightened away. The frustrated friends come up with a plan to camouflage themselves, covering their clothes in fake feathers and building a nest of their own. They're finally able to get an up-close look so they can draw in their sketchpads. Back home, they blend their talents for drawing and writing to create a bird book together.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Parents and children alike will enjoy going on an adventure with these two winsome friends. Wong Herbert Yee’s little heroes -- this is their fourth book -- cover a lot of ground: scientific observation, brainstorming, teamwork, and more. Each chapter offers something meaty for kids to chew on: bird behavior and songs, how nests are built, crafting a disguise, and collaborating on a book. Along the way, kids get a strong lesson on friendship and problem-solving.

The lengthy text, divided into four chapters and gently paced, may test the patience of some young kids. Simple sentences and a softly repetitive structure, along with the amusing story, help pull new readers along. With a strong emphasis on sequential action, this could serve as something of a playbook for kids who want to plan an adventure of their own.

Soft hues of green, brown, and orange ground ample illustrations that enrich and move along the text.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the friends work together. Point out ways they cooperate and help solve problems. Mole proves to be a better artist and Mouse a better writer; instead of making separate books, they decide to work together. Have you collaborated with a friend who is better at some things than you are?

  • Mole uses a bird whistle to mimic the sounds of birds. Go outside or open a window and listen carefully to the bird songs. How many different songs do you hear? Can you tell which bird is singing which song?

  • Mouse and Mole carefully observe the birds, drawing in their sketchpads, so they can learn more about the animals and make a book. Pick an animal -- birds, or perhaps squirrels, dogs, or insects -- and create a book of your own.

Book details

Author:Wong Herbert Yee
Genre:Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:August 17, 2009
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

This review of Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends 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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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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