“Once upon a time there was a little mouse house. It was like a doll’s house, but not for dolls, for mice.” Not proper mice, but a flannel He-Mouse and She-Mouse with beady eyes and bristle whiskers who stand quite still, propped on their hind legs in the sitting room. Mary knows real mice run and scamper, and disappointed with her new gift, she puts the mouse house away in her room. Meanwhile, down in the basement, a real mouse named Bonnie has been jostled out of her woefully inadequate flowerpot home by her older brothers and sisters. Overlooked by her harried parents and desperate for shelter, Bonnie ventures upstairs and finds the mouse house. And before too long what was a miniature make-believe house becomes a marvelously messy home for proper mice who know how to play, much to everyone’s delight.
Hardcover, 72 pages
She has a wonderful way with fictional children, tender and true and never sentimental.
—Orville Prescott, The New York Times
The story’s details are chosen with precision, and Godden gets the balance just right in her portrayal of her mouse characters: they act both like real mice (shredding the contents of the Mouse House to make a cozy nest) and people (two of Bonnie’s sisters make dolls out of silk flowers). Adams’s illustrations are old-fashioned but lively, perfect for this small-scope but very satisfying adventure.
—Martha V. Parravano, The Horn Book Magazine
[An] extraordinarily gifted writer who manages to infuse her novels with a special magic of their own.
Rumer Godden has combined imagination and realism to produce a children’s book of charm and originality.
—Globe and Mail
Tiny Bonnie, the littlest mouse in the family that lived in the cracked flower pot in the cellar of Mary’s house, crept upstairs to find a place to sleep one night. She found a real mouse house with tiny beds in the miniature house Mary was given for Easter. Bonnie slept in the miniature bed and tipped over chairs and tables when morning came and she couldn’t get out. After Bonnie’s visit, Mary relegated the little house to the basement, which provided a comfortable mouse haven.
Rumer Godden is magic.
—Palm Springs Desert Sun