Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mouse Trouble

Mouse Trouble

John Yoeman
Illustrator:   Quentin Blake 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Andersen Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-1849392013

There once was a miller who owned what had once been a “very fine windmill.” Unfortunately, the miller was a mean man who refused to take care of the mill, and it was now shabby. It was also overrun with mice, which infuriated the miller. Determined to do something about the mouse problem, the miller got a cat, but since he treated the cat terribly, the poor animal was in no condition to chase mice.

The mice who lived in the mill were a kind bunch, and they could not help feeling sorry for the cat. “We must make it easier for him to catch us,” said the mouse leader. After all, if the cat was happier, then he would provide the mice with lots of entertainment.

Soon the cat was having the time of his life chasing the mice, who pretended that they were terrified of him so that he could feel good about himself. Life in the mill was altogether splendid for the cat and the mice, until the miller decided that the cat was not doing what he was supposed to be doing.

In this funny and delightful feel-good title, children will see how some mice and a cat are able to set aside their differences in favor of friendship. Children will enjoy looking at Quentin Blake’s illustrations, and they will appreciate the way in which the animals hoodwink the miller.