The White-Footed Mouse

illus. by Bert Dodson. 32p. Bunker Hill. 2012. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-59373-109-0.
Gr 1–3—This parable is told with a mix of old-fashioned and modern-day wisdom. A father introduces his son to nature at a young age; they go for walks through the woods and he shows the child how to find nests hidden in trees, build birdhouses, canoe, fish, swim, and hunt. "The greatest dad that any kid has ever had" also teaches his son rules: "Don't kill anything you don't intend to eat." When he is eight, they go on their first camping trip and stay at a cabin, where his dad spots a little white-footed mouse warming up on a stovepipe. The boy feeds it a piece of cheese, and his father scolds him, explaining that he doesn't want mice inside the camp. The next day they return from hunting and the father wants to set a trap to catch the mouse. The son reminds his dad of the rule, saying, "Well, okay. Are we going to have him for breakfast or lunch?" Watercolor illustrations highlight nature, but come across as a bit flat except for one spread showing the mouse enjoying the piece of cheese, which is somewhat animated. The facial expressions of the people are static. Overall, this is a thoughtful story that will prompt questions and discussion in a storytime, classroom, or home, especially about hypocrisy.—Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing