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WesternSFA
Tom Mouse
by Ursula Le Guin
Illustrated by Julie Downing
Roaring Book Press, 32pp
Release Date: 2002

Once Ursula Le Guin became a grandmother, she turned her talents to telling children’s tales – usually with tails – as with the Catwings books, and this one, about a venturesome little mouse who decides to go travelling.

From the diner in a train station, where a mouse’s perspective is all of shoes, padded stools and big behinds, to the thrumming tracks where the trains arrive and depart, to an upstairs cabinette with a concealing closet and a big viewing window, Tom discovers perils and wonders, and encounters an unexpected companion who is outside all his experience.

Beautifully, tenderly, and humorously illustrated, this is a book to read to appreciative young listeners, whether snuggled up in bed or in a classroom. It has good discussion points without resorting to preaching, and a poetic narrative voice stirs the imaginative powers in all children. – Chris R. Paige

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