Mouse Was Mad

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Mouse Was Mad Book Poster Image
Great book for teaching little ones about managing anger.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though the characters are animals, their actions and relationships support the idea that what is the right solution for one may not be right for another.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book presents a wonderful opportunity to talk with kids about anger and how to handle it.

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What's the story?

As the red block letters on the cover spelling the word "MAD" get larger and larger, the little mouse's anger grows, and he tries to find ways to express himself. Like various animals around him, he hops, stomps, screams, and rolls around. Nothing works for him, until finally he discovers a way all his own.

Is it any good?

The story, as well as the watercolor, colored pencil, and ink illustrations by Henry Cole, are cute and funny, filled with the kind of light-hearted playfulness that young kids especially enjoy. Kids will catch on quickly to the repetitive scenario, as the angry little mouse tries to hop like the kangaroo or stomp like the bear and so on, and they will be ready for a hearty laugh when the hopping and stomping lands the little mouse over and over in the "mucky mud puddle."

What his problem was, and whether the mouse actually solves his anger issue, or just gets past it, is unclear, but he does feel better in the end. His anger has dissolved as most anger does over time. The lesson, if there really is one, is a little obscure, but that hardly matters. All the animals, especially the angry little mouse, with their big eyes and expressive faces, are adorable. And how each solves his anger problem is part of the game, and makes for a fun and entertaining read that is sure to get a warm-hearted laugh.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about things that make them angry, how that feels, and what they do about it. Do you feel more like roaring or stomping? Or do you just get quiet and calm yourself down? What works for one person may not work for another. What helped the little mouse? What works for you? What doesn't?

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