Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

Karma Wilson
Illustrator:   Jane Chapman 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2005   ISBN: 978-0689855115

Mortimer the mouse lives in a very uncomfortable hole under the stairs and more than anything he wishes he had a warm cozy place to call home. One day, when he is out looking for scraps of food, Mortimer sees the most wonderful thing - he sees the perfect house which is "just the right size" for him. So he climbs up a beautifully decorated tree until he can get onto the table where the house sits. Inside the house he discovers a collection of statues including one of a baby. Now, Mortimer, who does not know the Christmas story, has no idea that what he has taken over is a Christmas manger scene. In short order Mortimer moves all the statues out so that he can move in.

Everyday the people in the big house put the statues back into the stable and every day Mortimer moves them out. Then one evening, Mortimer overhears the father of the house telling the Christmas story and the mouse realizes that his house is none other than a miniature copy of the stable in the story and that the baby is a statue of the Christ child. Mortimer knows what he has to do and it is very hard for him - he has to give up the lovely "just the right size" house. It there any hope that he will find another home that will suit him?

Jane Chapman’s mouse is full of charm and determination. His journeys out into the big human world are amusing and it is interesting to see what a human world would look like if one were as small as a mouse. Mouse may not know what Christmas is but he does learn what the real Christmas story is about and he appreciates how special it is.