In this age of manipulative advertising and social media influencers, we can all feel the pull of aspirational lifestyles, and children can be affected too. So it’s lovely to come across this story, which serves as a gentle reminder of what really makes us happy.
Grey Mouse feels lucky to have a simple, happy, safe little home that he shares with his loving family. But dissatisfaction begins to creep in when he discovers a larger, grander home while he’s out walking. Surely the owner (White Mouse) is content with his lot? Alas, no – he covets an even grander house on a nearby hill. The mice set out to get a closer look.
The owner of the palatial house on the hill (Brown Mouse) welcomes them inside for a tour, which takes in some impressive rooms and facilities. The visitors are envious:
‘We once were contented but now we feel poor. The happiest mouse is the mouse who has more.’
The turning point of the story occurs when Brown Mouse encourages her guests to use her observatory telescope to discover ‘the house where true happiness lives’…which, you’ve guessed it, is Grey Mouse’s humble abode.
The mice finally realise that ‘whatever your home it is happy indeed…if you love what you have…and have what you need.‘
The book proved to be irresistible to our test readers, who loved the peep through pages and lift up flaps, revealing doll house-like details. Barry Timm’s pleasant rhythmic words care complimented beautifully by Greg Abbot’s enchanting illustrations of the mice’s idyllic environment. Another gorgeous picture book containing helpful messages from Little Tiger Press.