Reviews for Library Mouse

Booklist Reviews 2007 September #1
*Starred Review* Put a mouse in a library and you have a sure seller; make the mouse a writer and you have a sure-fire hit. Sam lives in a hole in the wall behind the children's reference books. During the day he sleeps, but at night he reads all kinds of books. One night Sam decides to write and illustrate his own. He writes about himself, and he draws his likeness, posing in a little mirror and sketching what he saw. He slips Squeak! A Mouse's Life into the biography section. A girl finds it and shows it to the librarian, who is intrigued. Then Sam writes more: The Lonely Cheese and The Mystery of Mouse Mansion. Increasingly curious, the librarian posts a note on the bulletin board, inviting Sam to Meet the Author Day. What is Sam to do? His delightfully unexpected solution will inspire kids to write their own stories. In a rainbow of colors, the art, which features a slightly flattened perspective, ranges from small oval pictures of Sam busily sharpening pencils with his teeth to full-page views of the busy library. One great picture shows Sam's face filling the page, dark eyes alight and white whiskers bristling. It's a show-stopper. This is ready-made to introduce a classroom writing activity, though some of the pictures are too small to be appreciated in a large-group readaloud. Even so, this is fun, fun, fun. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #2
This fifth book about the doings of Sam the Library Mouse and his adventurous friend Sarah is yet another testimonial for the specialness of libraries and books. In this episode, the mice learn that the library children's room is to be renovated, so they seek refuge in the large attic, a space perfect for building their own houses. Using resources of the library (pencil and paper for building materials; architecture books for plans), they try various styles of homes, but nothing is quite right. Sarah hits upon an unexpected solution with the unique use of a book, and the library gets a wonderful display of their discarded homes--a win-win situation. Back matter features a short paragraph and a photo about each of the 13 types of houses the mice build. This is a fine use of light fantasy to teach a little lesson about building structures, and it will be especially useful to those preparing children for the disruptions that come with home renovations. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Library mouse Sam begins writing--and surreptitiously shelving--his own tales. When the librarian (who doesn't know he's a mouse) asks for an author visit, Sam remains concealed and invites children to write their own books. Kirk delivers an undisguised message about the value of writing. His human characters look stiff, but Sam is depicted with verve and humor. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
While the library undergoes renovations, mice Sam and Sarah, who have decamped to the attic, build their own cozy dwellings (yurt, igloo, geodesic dome, etc.) using library books for reference. The gouache illustrations, though stiff, clearly show each type of place. Information about the buildings is appended; it may be of more interest to budding architects than the stretch of a story line will be.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 August #1
A writing rodent inspires young library patrons. Sam the mouse has a cozy home behind a wall in the children's reference section, and every night he sneaks outside to read, feeling that the library belongs to him. His head full of information, he decides it's time to write a book of his own. Squeak!, his memoir, becomes an instant success when it's found stuck in a shelf by a young student. Sam follows up his debut with The Lonely Cheese and The Mystery of Mouse Mansion. Mrs. Forrester, the head librarian, leaves Sam a letter suggesting a "Meet the Author Day." Industrious Sam (who sharpens pencils with his teeth) turns this into a writer's workshop, with all the attendees turning out books of their own. Though the substantial text skews to older readership, the earth tones in Kirk's gouache illustrations lend warmth to his tale, which should encourage young would-be writers. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 August #1
Sam the mouse and his friend Sarah are back in a new, fifth adventure, and this time, it's centered on the renovations to their library home. Needing temporary residences, they move to the attic to build them. Of course, they need architecture books to determine which type suits them. Sam, the storyteller and dreamer, builds his with formal columns, while Sarah, the explorer, makes a yurt. But neither seems cozy enough for a home, so they keep trying, building a castle, an igloo, a bungalow and more. Finally, Sarah comes up with the perfect solution: She uses an atlas to form an A-frame they can share. When the renovation is completed and the students return to the library, they find each of Sam's and Sarah's houses sitting on the shelves with a sign that says: "Home and where to find it." (It's too bad there's no map or labels depicted in the illustration to help young library customers with the "where to find it" part.) Kirk's familiar gouache illustrations maintain a mouse perspective filled with library details. This clever presentation of world housing types has three pages of backmatter that describe each style and its location. Not only is the story amusing, but the information will be useful in classrooms. The familiar characters make this architectural adventure feel downright homey. (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 October

K-Gr 2-- Sam has a cozy home in the wall behind the children's reference books at the library. By day he sleeps and by night he reads, reads, reads. One night, he decides to write his own book. Once his autobiography is finished, he shelves it in the biography section. It's a huge hit with the children and the staff, as are the mystery and picture books he pens. This leads the head librarian to post a letter inviting the mystery writer to a "Meet the Author" day. Since he is a bit shy around people, he comes up with a better idea. He sets up a display using a mirror to show each student as the author, then puts out booklets and pencils for them to write their own stories. This book has an excellent premise, but the text is a bit wordy. It's the art that brings it to life. The detailed illustrations show a bright, light, busy library filled with books, a few computers, and lots of patrons. Sam, attired in a different outfit on almost every page, is an engaging, expressive mouse, and kids will enjoy seeing him having the run of the building at night. This offering would work well as a catalyst for a writing project.--Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

[Page 120]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 August

K-Gr 2--When faced with a real-life problem, Sam knows just what to do. After the mouse reads a note indicating that a "renovation" in his library is afoot, he uses a dictionary to define the new word and then locates architecture resources to help him design temporary quarters in the attic. Sam's cerebral style contrasts with that of his more adventurous friend Sarah. While Sam gravitates toward classical Roman buildings and grand castles, Sarah favors yurts, igloos, and geodesic domes. Seeking a perfect home, the two pals produce many miniature structures. In the end, Sam resides most comfortably under a book, which Sarah presents to him as an example of an A-frame house. Predictably, with the library renovations completed, the children's room re-opens with the mouse projects prominently displayed on the shelf tops, making for a warm, welcoming, and creative environment. Kirk's gouache cartoon illustrations are charming. The back matter includes information on houses around the world, photos, and a glossary. Newcomers and fans of the previous titles will welcome this tale, and librarians will put it to good use in their research lessons.--Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT

[Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.