by Dick King-Smith, published 1997
“Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse was the youngest of thirteen children. He was also the smallest. His mother had given the other twelve mouse pups quite ordinary names, like Bill or Jane.”
A talented singing mouse is the hero of this small children’s book, written by the author of Babe. It’s an easy read-aloud book for young children, especially with an interest in music, though that is only the subplot for the story. This little tale is totally based in imagination – mice that sing, and figure out how to provide help when someone is in trouble. But it makes a nice little story for children not yet reading on their own. It is a chapter book, not an illustrated book, but scattered here and there are lovely line illustrations to go with the text.
In many ways, this children’s book feels quite old fashioned, since we really don’t find that many contemporary books about talking or performing animals. Sometimes I wonder about that. I enjoy books that are totally imaginative, like Wind in the Willows. Once you hold that as a standard for a children’s book about animals, very little reaches that standard. And yet, there is something worthy about the attempt to see the world through the eyes of a little creature.
I like this children’s book for it’s simplicity. I can’t say I love it for outstanding literature. It reminds me of something a Walt Disney script writer would create, possibly because of the success of the movie version of Babe. But it’s certainly an acceptable children’s book to have around.