Welcome to the world of Saint Bartholomew's where approximately two hundred and nineteen mice are thriving in an orderly, fully fed community led by the stalwart Mouse Mistress, Hildegarde. In this world our Mouse Mistress has the job of ensuring that the mice follow the rules that create their safety and comfort. A mouse must keep out of sight during the Altar Guild Ladies' visits and must use the pipes and insulation highways within the walls for their commuting purposes. It's essential that Father Murphy, the sexton, and the others of the church membership continue to believe that they are seeing only one mouse. Otherwise, there is every reason to believe that the mouse community will be faced with the potentially fatal Great X. With occasional glimpses of humor and snippets of mouse personalities, the layers of the mouse world come to light. There is Lucretia who would love to wear the crown of Mouse MIstress herself and Ignatious, a wise mouse who dropped in unexpectedly from an overcoat after having lived in a University library for many years. There are many mouse families and finally there is Roderick who is Hildegarde's patient and loyal special friend. As the tale spins out, there is a mild tension as though we are waiting for something slightly threatening or greatly threatening to happen to the mice and to us. We wait and then sure enough the mice are faced with danger and must turn to the Mouse Mistress to lead them to safety and then to come up with a imaginative solution to a problem that could mean the end to many in the church mouse community. The action comes primarily in the second half. This would be a fun read aloud for early elementary listeners. Ages 5-9 160 pages
Bless This Mouse
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt March 2011
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