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Goodbye Mousie Hardcover – September 1, 2001

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The Big Box of Bright and Early Board Books About Me
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Adapted for babies and toddlers from Dr. Seuss's Bright and Early book line, each of these books is filled with rollicking rhymes and clear, colorful illustrations by Dr. Seuss and Joe Mathieu. Board book | More Seuss

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harris (It's Perfectly Normal) and Ormerod (Miss Mouse Takes Off) admirably and successfully tackle a child's first encounter with death, through the loss of a beloved pet. "When I woke up this morning, I tickled Mousie's tummy. But Mousie didn't wake up," says the unnamed narrator, a preschool-age boy. Author and artist both possess an acute sense of the boy's emotional trajectory. After his first outpouring of grief and anger (which Ormerod depicts in a stunning facial close-up), the boy focuses on preparations for Mousie's funeral, busily filling the coffin with mementos and then decorating it with "wiggly stripes." But his composure crumbles when he discovers a piece of toast missing from his plate: "Where did it go? Did it die too?" Acceptance finally comes after he and his parents bury Mousie, and it is authentically childlike: "So, maybe someday, I'll get another mouse," the boy says, stretched across the floor and contemplatively dawdling with Mousie's exercise wheel. "But not just yet." The artist's fluid pencil lines underscore the vulnerability of the boy and the poignancy of his story. Uplifting details (the boy's mouse slippers, a stuffed mouse toy) offer a glimmer of hope, and the solidity at the heart of her characterizations especially in the portraits of the narrator seeking comfort from his parents will be immensely reassuring to young readers. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 2-4. A little boy wakes up one morning and tickles his pet mouse's tummy, but Mousie doesn't move. So begins this story for the very youngest about the death of a pet. Daddy tells the boy that Mousie is dead, but the child prefers to think that Mousie is just very, very tired. Slowly, after lots of tears and many questions, the boy comes to terms with the fact that his pet is gone. He plans for the funeral by painting a picture of himself to put inside the shoebox that will hold Mousie. He will get another pet, but not right away. Ormerod's honest pictures, black-pencil line drawings with watercolor washes on buff-colored paper, capture the emotions of the situation and chronicle the boy's move from disbelief to acceptance. The endpapers, on which Mousie cavorts, show what a delightful little pet he was. The choice of a first-person narrative has a tendency to distance listeners because the boy often sounds older than he looks. Still, this covers all the bases of a frequently asked-for subject. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 140L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry; 1 edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689832176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689832178
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Diane on November 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I checked this book out at the library not knowing the subject. The cover shows a small boy playing with his mouse, but the first page starts out with the boy waking up to find his mouse "asleep". Written in the first person (of the boy), this book is sensitive and realistic in how a parent might help a young child deal with the death of a pet. It relates the father's tenderness in talking with his son, who goes through the range of emotions, including denial, sadness and anger. The boy appears to be of the preschool age, and while he seems to understand the finality of death, he also wants his mousie friend to be warm, well fed, and entertained after they bury him. The words are comforting to read and the illustrations are simple and beautifully done.
My 3 yr old boys have not personally experienced the death of a pet, but they've asked to read it several times. Our next door neighbor's dog died this summer and relate the mouse and the dog. They are very aware of the fact that the mouse died and is gone to "mousie heaven" (their words, not the books). They ask questions and empathize with and comfort the boy. We personally have an older bunny and dog, so I will certainly have this book in mind when they pass on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Today I read ten books for children on death and loss at my local book store. GOODBYE MOUSIE by Robie H. Harris was selected for its clear, realistic emotions experienced by a young boy when his pet dies. The book was purchased to place in an elementary school library in memory of a first grade teacher who unexpectedly passed away recently.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "just1k" on December 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I work as a therapist, and I think this is a great book to help to "normalize" (as much as possible) the process of losing a pet. I think this book can also serve as a springboard for children and parents to talk openly about loss. Robie Harris' book is a hit!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
One morning, a young boy wakes up to find his beloved pet mouse, known as Mousie, asleep. No matter what the little boy does, Mousie just won't wake up. His Father informs him that young Mousie has died. The young boy doesn't want to believe his Father. After all, little Mousie was fine the day before, and he was a very happy mouse. The boy is soon overcome with anger that Mousie has left him without any warning, and feels very sad. But after talking about the good times he shared with Mousie, and creating a special box for Mousie's burial that is filled with all kinds of goodies for Mousie to enjoy once he gets to mouse-heaven, the boy begins to feel a lot better about the loss of his beloved Mousie.

Robie H. Harris has done a marvelous job in creating a book for young children, that will explain to them easily why their pet had to die. The prose is wonderful, and possesses an easy-to understand format, while each page is filled with gorgeous full-color illustrations by Jan Ormerod. GOODBYE MOUSIE is a spectacular book that should occupy a space on everyone's bookshelf. Especially for those who have young children, and own pets.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Today I read ten books for children on death and loss at my local book store. GOODBYE MOUSIE by Robie H. Harris was selected for its clear, realistic emotions experienced by a young boy when his pet dies. The book was purchased to place in an elementary school library in memory of a first grade teacher who unexpectedly passed away recently.
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