Monday, February 21, 2011

"Bless this Mouse" by Lois Lowry

"Bless this Mouse" by Lois Lowry

Recently I came across this great site for e-book owners, called Net Galley. Basically you can read books with your e-reader for free in exchange for your review. NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books. Publishers upload their galleys, plus any marketing and promotional information; then invite contacts to view their title on NetGalley. Readers can also find new titles through NetGalley's Public Catalog, and request to review those titles from the publisher. So this is my first review for the company..

A resilient and quirky colony of church mice fears another Great X more than they fear cats. Under Mouse Mistress Hildegarde’s leadership, they save themselves from one danger after another—sometimes just by the skin of their tails! Can one ultimate act of bravery during the feast day of St. Francis get Father Murphy to bless these mice and keep them safe forever?

Lois Lowry spins an enchanting tale of a colony of church mice that go about their lives content in what they can forage from the kitchens and drawers of St. Bartholomew's Church, until they are found out by Father Murphy, who sensibly arranges for pest control to come in and deal with the rodent problem.

Lois Lowry, the author of some of the most famous children’s books, including, but limited to: "The Giver" and The Gooney Bird series, has created a new book all about the life of a church mouse called "Bless this Mouse".

"Bless This Mouse" is a quaint and lightly religious collaboration between Newberry medalist author
Lois Lowry and Caldecott medalist illustrator Eric Rohmann. Their words and illustrations play perfectly off one another in a fast-paced children's novel about the lives of church mice. Lowry manages to weave lessons into the story without seeming heavy-handed or preachy.

My Detailed Description:
Hildegarde is Mouse Mistress and matriarch of Saint Bartholemew's and she is responsible for making sure all two hundred plus mice who call the church home are safe and, more importantly, remain unseen by the humans. So when she realizes the Feast of Saint Francis is coming, she begins to panic. For this means the church will be filled with animals, especially their dreaded enemy (CATS!), for the Blessing of the Animals. As if Hildegarde didn't have enough problems, some mice make themselves known to the humans, and they face the Great X. Hildegarde must come up with a plan to outwit the exterminator with his sticky traps and poison and save their children and way of life for future generations of peaceful mice. Will she be able to save all of the mice?
They are God's creatures too after all! All their trials and tribulations (the outside, owls and rain) take place right before October 4th, the day The Blessing of the Animals is administered in the church in honor of St. Francis. When October 4th dawns, Hildegarde, fed up with the pomp and circumstance heaped on the parade of cats, dogs, ponies and even turtles who invade the church, makes a stand for mice and all God's matter how small.

My thoughts...
This is not one of those books you will read to your child once and forget about. Bless This Mouse has a lesson to teach. I can guarantee it will get you and your children started in a discussion about kindness and forgiveness. This book has all the right elements for a perfect nightly story time: adorable illustrations, cute characters, humor and most of all, and important lesson to be learned. “Bless This Mouse” is destined to be a classic.

It has adventure, romance, fantasy (talking animals), suspense and sort of reminded me of "The Tale of Despereaux" by Katie DiCamillo and "Stuart Little" by E.B. White (the same author of 'Charlotte's Web).

"Bless This Mouse" is a cute story, even if the main characters are rodents that would make most humans (including me) go "Eeek!" and it can be disconcerting to think of the areas that mice inhabit in our daily lives. Hildegarde and her brood are a likable bunch and the reader easily roots for their success against the obstacles they face. It is a story that adults and children will both like.
I have read some other reviews who said it was too religious...but not for my taste. I really enjoy reading how the mice practiced religion just as people do, and it really had me thinking twice about using mousetraps in our house. I absolutely loved the ending (which is rare for me…I usually do not enjoy the endings of books).

I really enjoyed reading this fictional tale of church mice. I could see myself reading this book to my daughter (when she is a little older), and I know she would love the illustrations! I would recommend this great book as a read aloud for first grade and up, or independent reading for second grade and up. I give this book 5/5 stars!

This book is not available yet (it is set to be published 3/21/11), but you can preorder it on Amazon:

Thank You so much Net Galley & Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to read this book! I cannot wait to read more books from you in the future!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Net Galley review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments:

Post a Comment