19.5.08

Mouse books

Over at Weekend Stubble, I came across Paul Collins noting the following:

An actual letter to the editor that I found in the New York Times for June 18, 1922:

Rats and Mice in Movies.
May I ask why it seems necessary to feature rats and mice so conspicuously in moving pictures? They are as repulsive to many as reptiles, yet snakes are seldom seen in pictures.

MRS. ALBERT SACKETT
Longmeadow, Mass., June 8, 1922


Moving pictures is one thing - Ratatouille anyone? - but why do cute little rodents so often feature in children's picture books. It makes me wish that like the character from Dr. Seuss I could "read with my eyes shut." I love Barbara Reid's books but am forced to shun The Subway Mouse, and Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread tempts me not at all.

Anyone else similarly afflicted?

4 comments:

patricia said...

Nope, sorry. I love cute mice. Of course, it has to be a good story. I adored The Tale of Despereaux, but not just because it was about a mouse – I thought it was an enchaning tale, very well written. I haven't read the other stories you mentioned, but certainly not because they are about rodents. (I confess that I have a very soft spot for little critters – I had many pet rats and hamsters and guinea pigs and rabbits as a kid).

kittenpie said...

On the contrary, I quite love the mouse stories - Kevin Henkes, The Subway Mouse, Ralph S Mouse, Stuart Little, Desperaux, all favourites of mine. I think there might be something enchanting about imagining the world at that small scale.

O'Leary said...

I think I'm outnumbered on this one. And I do know I'm missing some good books here but I can't seem to get past the rodent factor. There's also Crumbfest which we have on CD which makes it almost bearable. And I try to just think of Stuart Little as little, rather than mouse-like. Because I think you're right - it's the scale thing which makes it so appealing. Like the Borrowers which I have always loved.

Marina Endicott said...

I fall between on this. One of our favourites of all time is Martin Waddell's Mimi and the Dream House, where a small mouse rejects the houses her sisters and brothers build and makes herself "a mouse house where I can be ME!" It is a Borrowers thing, I agree. Scale, and detail, and the inside of the tree-trunk house so beautiful and sensible. But I couldn't finish Despereaux or bear to watch Ratatouille. A rat! In the kitchen! Don't be ridiculous!