Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Milo and the Magical Stones

Milo and the Magical Stones

Marcus Pfister
Picture Book
5 to 8
NorthSouth, 2010   ISBN: 0735822530

Milo is a little mouse who lives on an island with many other cliff mice. Though the mice have to work hard during the summer months collecting food, it is also a time when they are warm and can enjoy life. In the winter there is very little for the mice to do except to “huddle in their dark, damp caves, dreaming of light and warmth.”

On day Milo finds a wondrous magical stone. It gives off a lovely light and it also makes Milo’s cave warm and cozy. Soon the other mice decide to look for magical stones as well. An elder mouse called Balthazar warns the mice that they should not take something from the island without giving something back as well.

At this point in the story, readers can decide which of two endings to read. They can enjoy the happy ending or the sad one (or both). They will discover, as they read, that greed comes at a terrible price. If you take more than you need and give nothing back you will, eventually, pay a terrible price.

With its message about environmental stewardship, and the need for everyone to make unselfish decisions, this picture book will give young readers plenty to think about.