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Christmas Mouseling Hardcover – September 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. During a December storm, in a snowy forest, a little mouse is born. Then a wind blows the nest apart, and Mother Mouse takes her shivering mouseling in search of warmth. Sheep, Dove, and Cow offer their homes; they're leaving to visit a king. But after mouse nestles into each departed nest, the wind blows it down. Finally, she finds a shelter, filled with light and her animal friends, and settles into a cozy manger. The unusual, oblique view of the traditional nativity scene (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are never named and appear only in a small silhouette) makes this a welcome addition to holiday shelves. Chaconas' text will easily draw in young listeners with its lyrical language, gentle humor ("it's a baaad time of year," says Sheep), and an infectious, rhyming refrain: "The north wind blew. The snowflakes flew. And the mouseling sneezed, "Ah-choo! Ah-choo!"^B Hartung's delicate, soft-toned illustrations, decorated with plate-sized, filigreed snowflakes, amplify the contrast between the blustery winter forest and the safety and warmth of the manger. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Dori Chaconas was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1938. The second child in a family of seven, Dori fell into the role of storyteller, nursery rhyme singer, and general entertainer for her siblings. She claims she learned about story pacing early. If the story action lagged, her fidgety audience would either scatter or start a poking war.

She has been married to Nick, her high school sweetheart, for 44 years. Everyone says the romance will last. They raised four daughters, and are now enjoying three grandsons—especially Grandpa, having been outnumbered by women all those years.

When their daughters were young, Dori wrote for them. She published three picture books and more than fifty stories in children's magazines. In the 70's, her interest turned to yarn embroidery design and she sold designs to major needlework companies and national magazines.

In 1997, Dori started writing stories again, partly to keep her grandsons from fidgeting or starting poking wars. Her stories reflect the warmth of family life. Dori gives credit to her parents for giving her a strong sense of family, and to her children and grandchildren for keeping it alive.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670059846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670059843
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,379,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've always been a storyteller, a singer of nursery rhymes, a twister of truth. The oldest girl in a family of seven kids, I used my survival skills as a storyteller to keep my younger siblings from maiming each other in poking wars. I loved books and I'd read for hours. And I would 'live' in those stories. If the hero suffered, so did I. I once roller skated around our block twenty-eight times in a snow storm, mentally fighting the elements in the Yukon. I froze my butt off, but let me tell you - it was perfect suffering!

As an adult, I read to my twins often. Then because of a nagging need to do something creative, I began to write. I learned to submit my writing to children's magazine publishers, ever conscious of the postage money I was sure I was throwing away. But the challenge was there! The Yukon (and now the publishing world) needed to be tamed - to heck with the suffering or the cost of a stamp!

I sold my first story to Highlights for Children, then many more to that magazine, to Jack and Jill, Scholastic and others. I sold three picture books: A Hat for Lily, and In A Window on Greenwater Street, to Steck/Vaughn, and The Way The Tiger Walked, to Simon & Schuster. I was a published author! But I didn't feel like an author. At least I had the publishers fooled. Not one of them called to tell me it was all a huge mistake.

I left all these glories, and doubts, in the early '70's. Life called me in different directions for the next thirty years. We now had four daughters and schools that introduced us to that annoying word tuition. I went to work part time at various jobs - preschool, nursing home, medical clinic, hospital. I quieted my creative demon in snitches and snatches of small projects until 1997, when two amazing things happened. My daughter, Stacy DeKeyser, started to write, and I was introduced to this new, alien thing called a computer.

I had EMAIL! Stacy lived in Atlanta and cyber channels smoked with our back and forth messages about writing - she asking questions about my long ago experiences, and me, trying to remember. She introduced me to online writers' groups and after a few short months, I was drawn back into the world of writing.

My first picture book, On a Wintry Morning (illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson) appeared in the bookstores in October 2000. New books are reviewed and the reviews can be good or bad. If the reviewer writes: "Would someone please shoot this writer," that's bad. If the book is given a 'starred review,' that's good. On a Wintry Morning received two starred reviews (lucky me!) and also won the Archer/Eckblad Award for the best picture book to be written by a Wisconsin author in 2000. I was astonished. The book has a simple, rhyming text about a daddy and his baby daughter spending a wintry morning together. How appropriate is that, having watched my husband help raise four daughters?

With the help of my daughter and my writing friends, I think I'm becoming a good writer. In addition to a good number of picture books, I've written a series of five easy-to-read Cork and Fuzz books. It's been an interesting and pleasurable journey.

And why do I write? I can't give just one reason. But I think what comes closest to being the most important reason goes something like this. Close your eyes and imagine you hear a child laugh. Then imagine that you are the one who made him laugh. Can you feel that inner glow?

Please visit my website:

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By skh on November 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Okay, maybe it's a bit passé to review my own book, but as the illustrator, I have to admit that I loved this story. Christmas is my favorite time of year. When I was working on the illustrations for this book I brought a little brown mouse that I named Nuss ("nut" in German) into my home. Having owned pet mice in the past I didn't really need an excuse. I find them to be charming little companions. Unfortunately Nuss is no longer with us here in the studio, but I am happy that she lives on in this charming story. I highly recommend this book as a sweet and warm way to share the true meaning of the season and settle those restless heads on Christmas eve.
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Format: Hardcover
This is my kids' favorite Christmas book (received as a gift)! It can be read in a very interactive way and brings different aged siblings together. The repetition of "The north winds blew. The snow flakes flew" is easy for kids to memorize, so every time it gets to that part, they say it all together. I make a big deal out of the "Whoosh," and then even my 14 year old joins in by blowing on my 3 year old's hair, and she giggles with delight! I can see the compassion in the little ones faces when the mouseling sneezes and coughs. The illustrations are just lovely. It has a cozy feel and is a little different, without losing the real meaning of Christmas.
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