RALPH S. MOUSE by Paul O. Zelinsky


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Still ensconced at Mountain View Inn in Cucaracha, California, Cleary's endearing little talking mouse with the motorcycle finds himself the cause of trouble at the inn. First, his nighttime cycling sprees have drawn several envious little relatives to the inn's lobby, where they clamor for turns to ride and call Ralph "greedy" for refusing; he in turn shocks them and himself by calling them "rotten little rodents." What's more, the droppings from all those mice have got Ralph's handyman friend old Matt in trouble with the management, And so to escape his relatives and save Matt's job, Ralph talks his friend Ryan Bramble, the son of the inn's new housekeeper, into taking him off to live at his school. Fortunately, Ryan's teacher is the sympathetic, enlightened sort--so that when Ralph is discovered in Ryan's pocket she turns the occasion into a class project on mice. During Ralph's week at school, his beloved motorcycle is broken during a fight between Ryan and surly classmate Brad--but Ralph is "speechless with joy" when Brad gives him a sports car in its place. In the end, lonely Ryan and equally lonely Brad have become friends ("because of me," Ralph reflects with satisfaction); Ralph is proud "because he had helped Miss K. educate her class"; and Ralph himself has learned enough from Miss K.'s classroom methods to manage his relatives' demands for rides in the new sports car. A little short, perhaps, on Cleary's under-the-skin empathy; but as usual the little things, down to Ralph's learning to say vroom-vroom-vroom, not pb-b-b, pb-b-b (the motorcycle noise), to start his car--and moorv (vroom backwards) to back it up, tune readers in to Ralph's experiences.
Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 1982
ISBN: 0380709570
Page count: 181pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1982


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