A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Some good vocabulary for more advanced readers ("muddled," "bewildered," "exhaust") and a look at life half a century ago.
Be kind and inquisitive; trust others but be prepared, competent, and see the value in an adventure.
Positive Role Models
Both human and mouse adults are supportive and kind, helping kids and young mice to learn and grow.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beverly Cleary's Ralph S. Mouse series is full of the kind of delightful adventures and warm empathy that readers have long expected from the author. The books are a gentle throwback to a simpler time when screens and phones didn't distract kids from zooming cars around hallways, and are a reminder that young kids were often left to their own devices (not on their own devices) for many hours at a time. Young readers will enjoy what seems like a simple story, while more advanced readers will be able to see the depth and complexity of emotions on the pages. The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1965) is the first book in the trilogy, followed by Runaway Ralph (1970) and Ralph S. Mouse (1982).
Is It Any Good?
This is a sweet, kind series from start to finish, with plenty of gentle adventure and inspiration for tomfoolery. Who wouldn't want to find a friendly mouse zooming around on a shiny motorcycle or sports car, ready to talk about plans and listen to troubles? Beverly Cleary's Ralph S. Mouse series has a wonderfully even pace: just fast enough to keep more advanced readers' attention, slow enough that readers starting to dig into longer chapter books aren't overwhelmed, and a great read-aloud. The books are big on empathy among both mice and humans, and have a warmth that reminds readers to look for moments of wonder in the world around them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.