Kirkus Reviews QR Code
GOODBYE MOUSIE by Robie H. Harris

GOODBYE MOUSIE

By Robie H. Harris (Author) , Jan Ormerod (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-83217-6
Publisher: McElderry

A little boy’s pet mouse dies, and he and his family cope, in this gently done true-life tale by a team that has such an elegant grasp of the workings of the minds and hearts of children. A little boy fiercely denies that his pet mouse is dead, despite his father’s remonstrations, and then he gets mad at Mousie, and finally sad. The boy and his parents put Mousie in a box with some of his favorite things—carrots, a piece of jam toast, and a toy or two—and make a headstone for him out of driftwood. Readers can hear the boy working things out for himself, that Mousie won’t ever come back, that grief and longing are what he feels. And in the last frame, where he plays with Mousie’s wheel and a toy mouse while wearing his mouse slippers, he thinks about getting another mouse—“But not just yet.” Ormerod makes her images from a close-up, child-high perspective, with a fresh, clean palette: her headshot of the child bawling wildly at the realization of the truth of Mousie’s demise is touching and tender, as is the gentle comfort of his father. Not since The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (1971) has there been such an affecting and satisfying story about the death of a pet. (Picture book. 4-8)