Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole

Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole

Wong Herbert Yee
Picture Book  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Houghton Mifflin, 2005   ISBN: 978-0618473137

Mouse lives in a cozy little house in a tree and beneath her in another cozy little house, in the roots of the same tree, lives mole. Both these animals are very tidy and clean creatures. Every morning they sweep their little homes. There is a problem however. For whenever mouse sweeps her house all her dust ends up below in mole’s little home. Mole goes and visits Mouse and tells her about his problem. Mouse quickly realizes that this state of affairs is most unfair and she comes up with a plan which turns out not only to deal with the dirt problem but it also helps turn neighbors into friends.

Not long after this the two neighbors invite each other over to their homes. Alas their visits are not a success for Mouse finds Mole’s little hole very dark and damp, and Mole finds Mouse’s home far too bright. At first they don’t realize why the visits did not go well but then they understand what happened and they both feel bad that they did not do more to make their neighbor feel more comfortable. At once they try to do what they can to set things right by giving each other a gift. Mole gives Mouse some candles to use when she comes to his home and Mouse gives Mole a pair of sunglasses to wear when he comes to visit her house. Clearly these two neighbors are going to be very good friends indeed.

In all there are four wonderful little stories in this book, and as we read we can see how a friendship can grow between two neighbors who have good hearts and who are willing to make an effort to help one another. Written and illustrated by the creator of “Fireman Small,” this is a perfect chapter book for beginner readers. Cunning colorful illustrations on every page and thoroughly likeable characters make this a title which is sure to be a firm favorite.