About the Holiday
Today gives us a chance to take another look at rats and mice. I’m not talking about the kind of mouse I’ve seen scurrying around in my garage or the kind of rat that…well, honestly, I hope is nowhere near my garage. The guys we’re celebrating today are fancy, which means they are bred to make good pets. Despite their bad rap, mice and rats are smart, loyal, and clean. They don’t require as much care as a dog or cat, and they can be fun to play with. The American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association holds events around the country to introduce people to these alternative pets. Today, you may want to check one out.
The Mouse and the Moon
By Gabriel Alborozo
“In a dark and broken tree, in a dark and wild wood, there lived a little mouse. All alone. His only friend was the moon.” The little mouse waited each night for the moon to appear so that he could talk about his day and his hopes, dreams, and fears. The moon always listened silently. The little mouse began to think that the moon was just too far away to hear him, so he went in search of his friend.
The mouse scampered through the woods, but no matter how far he went, the moon never seemed any closer. Pretty soon the mouse was far from home and “was feeling a little afraid.” When he stopped to rest, the mouse looked into the night sky, but could no longer see the moon. Suddenly, he heard a whispered “‘Hello?’” The mouse cautiously looked around and replied, “‘Hello?’” “And there, floating in a small, still pool, was the moon.” The mouse was excited to have found his friend at last.
But what he didn’t see was the tiny fish “hidden from sight, beneath the moon’s reflection.” The little fish was equally glad to finally hear from his friend the moon. “‘I’ve been waiting so long to talk to you!’ bubbled the tiny fish.” The two spent the night telling each other everything. As the sun rose, the moon began to fade. The mouse and the fish both pleaded for the moon to stay. The mouse crept as close to the edge of the pool as he could, and the fish swam close to the surface of the water.
When the moon’s reflection finally vanished in full daylight, “the two new friends saw each other for the first time….Both together and both happy.”
Gabriel Alborozo’s sweet, gentle story of friendship found is a beautiful tribute to perseverance, bravery, and discovery. After spending time telling the moon all about their lives with no response, the fish and the mouse, instead of giving up, go in search of their friend. For the mouse this means leaving his comfort zone and facing on his own some of the fears that he has shared with the moon. The fish, meanwhile, continues calling out until he receives an answer back. While both believe they are talking to their long-held confidant, when the moon disappears, the fish and the mouse happily embrace each other as new friends. Alborozo’s lines are simple and tranquil, with alliteration that flows as smoothly as the ripples on a pond.
Alborozo’s striking black-and-white illustrations, punctuated in the early pages only by the adorable golden-haired mouse, well represent the mouse’s loneliness of the heart. Similarly, the golden-scaled fish lives in a black-and-white world until he and the mouse see each other. As the moon vanishes, the pool and pond grasses are transformed by yellow, green, violet, blue, and orange hues into a sunny, happy landscape echoed in the smiles of the new best friends.
The Mouse and the Moon is a lovely quiet story time or bedtime book, and its comforting charm will make it a favorite with many children. This book would be a nice addition to home bookshelves.
Ages 2 – 7
Henry Holt, 2016 | ISBN 978-1627792240
To discover more picture books as well as a gallery of “bits not in books” by Gabriel Alborozo, visit his website!
Fancy Rat and Mouse Day Activity
Cute Mice Coloring Pages
Here are a couple of fancy mice – one just hanging out and one all dressed up in her finest clothes – for you to color. After you’ve colored these pages, why not write a short story about them!
Picture Book Review