Title: King Mouse
Author: Cary Fagan, Dena Seiferling (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Books
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 24, 2019
King Mouse finds his authority in question when his subjects find crowns of their own. A gentle and humorous modern fable about imaginative play and kindness in the tradition of classics like Little Bear and Frog and Toad.
A sweet, thoughtful tale of friendship, sharing and play, King Mouse begins when a mouse comes upon a tiny crown in the grass. The mouse puts the crown on his head, and when a bear subsequently comes upon him and asks if he’s king, the mouse responds “Yes.”
This diminutive monarch settles into his new role very comfortably . . . until a snake comes upon a crown and claims she is queen. The mouse is not amused, especially when one by one the other animals find crowns and claim they are kings too. But when the bear can’t find a crown, King Mouse make a most surprising decision.
This inspired collaboration between an award-winning author and debut picture book illustrator Dena Seiferling is quietly profound in its simplicity and has the feeling of a modern classic.
One day, Mouse finds a crown on the ground. He puts it on and becomes King Mouse. The other animals, like a crow and a bear, bow down to him and do things for him, such as bring him food and entertain him. Then, a snake finds a crown and puts it on, becoming Queen Snake. Now, all of the animals are finding crowns, except for the bear, who is left out of being a King or Queen. King Mouse is left to decide what to do to help the bear.
This is such a great teaching story for kids. It shows how it feels to be left out, since the bear was very sad that he didn’t have a crown when everyone else did. It also shows that just because someone has something that makes them popular, doesn’t mean they deserve it. Mouse became a king just because he found the crown. The crown was important when there was only one but it became meaningless when everyone else had a crown.
The illustrations in this story were beautiful. They looked like sketches in monochromatic colours. The illustrations told the story along with the words. It would be easy for children learning to read to follow the story by the pictures without reading the words.
I loved this children’s picture book!
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Mouseton Abbey: The Missing Diamond by Nick Page, Tim Hutchinson (illustrator)
Ho’onani: Hula Warrior by Heather Gale, Mika Song (illustrator)
Have you read King Mouse? What did you think of it?