In this illustrated children’s book, a young mouse grows up, marries, and discovers in church that his son possesses a gift for singing.
When it’s time for Mister Mouse to leave the nest, he goes looking for a lady mouse of his own to love, armed with advice from his parents on how to put his best paw forward. Mister Mouse disapproves of the spa mice he meets (too vain) and the bakery mice (too gluttonous). But then he meets a beautiful church mouse named Missy; not only is she “the Mona Lisa of mice,” she also has a basket full of cheese crackers. They hit it off and are wed under the same pew where they met. Before long, Missy is pregnant; her labor is so difficult with their very large son that the Mouses name him Ouch. When Ouch gets older, the Mouses take him to church to share their love of listening to music. He promises to be quiet—but when Ouch hears the piano, he can’t help singing out loud, to the surprise of his parents and of the human music minister. The family fears being caught, but friendly Brother Tommy teaches Ouch the hymn “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow,” explains that “God is the maker of all,” and promises to “ask God to help Ouch use his voice for His honor and glory.” In her debut book, March draws on the charm of the miniature to tell her story, captured in lively (uncredited) illustrations. At times, March tends to moralize; good female mice don’t care overmuch about their appearances, but they also don’t overeat, for example. Nevertheless, such judgments are leavened by March’s sense of humor, as when the Mouses honeymoon at The Cheesecake Factory. The book’s religious message is strengthened by the kindness, help, and appreciation shown by the parental mice and Brother Tommy, who goes out of his way to welcome Ouch and his family. The hymn is well-chosen, with its second line expressive of the whole: “Praise Him, all creatures here below.”
A pleasant fable about a talented rodent.