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Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores Paperback – March 1, 2003

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Three young miceAHorace, Morris and DoloresAgo everywhere together; they are "the greatest of friends, the truest of friends, the now-and-forever-I'm-yours sort of friends." Walrod makes a show-stopping debut with acrylic-and-cut-paper collages that show the brave trio raiding a milky bowl of cereal and in a circus ring riding on a cat's back toward a flaming hoop in accompaniment to the text: "They dared to go where no mouse had gone before." But the fun stops when Horace and Morris join the boys-only Mega-Mice club. "What kind of place doesn't allow girls?" Dolores wonders, standing alone outside the boys' stronghold. She goes next door to meet the all-girl Cheese Puffs, pictured in a sugary-pink cottage with a heart-shaped window. They sip tea, strategize on "How to Get a Fella Using Mozzarella," and look askance when Dolores proposes that they build a "Roque-fort." However, Dolores finds a kindred spirit in Chloris, and the two found a third, all-inclusive group with a much-relieved Horace and Morris (and a fifth mouse named Boris). In lighthearted prose, Howe, author of the Bunnicula and Pinky and Rex books, points out that "girl" and "boy" behavior need not be mutually exclusive and pokes fun at the ways gender roles needlessly impose limits and derail friendships. Walrod amplifies Howe's tribute to the ebb and flow of enduring friendship with paintings of the bipedal, childlike mice divided at the crossroads to the two single-sex clubs and united at the entrance to a cave in the closing adventure. Readers can only hope this is just the beginning for Horace, Morris and Dolores. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-While this picture book has a decidedly hip, quirky look, Howe's sensitivity and sensibility are clearly in evidence. It's an entertaining story about how a group of children (who happen to be mice) find a way to have fun together, in spite of peer pressure. Although they enjoy shared adventures, a trio breaks up when Horace and Morris decide "A boy mouse must do what a boy mouse must do" and join a boys-only club. Dolores soon finds a club for girls, but the friends miss playing together. When Dolores becomes bored by the (literally) cheesy projects the girls choose, she rebels. She invites the boys to join her exploring and they eagerly accompany her. Inventive acrylics feature funky collages and unusual perspectives. The diagrams for a mousetrap ("How To Get A Fella Using Mozzarella") are truly hilarious. Cool rodent cave art and entertaining snapshots of the fearless friends round out Walrod's amusing interpretation of the text. Make room on your shelves for Dolores and her pals.
Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Horace and Morris and Dolores
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068985675X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689856754
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Howe has written more than eighty books in the thirty-plus years he's been writing for young readers. It sometimes confuses people that the author of the humorous Bunnicula series also wrote the dark young adult novel, The Watcher, or such beginning reader series as Pinky and Rex and the E.B. White Read Aloud Award-winning Houndsley and Catina and its sequels. But from the beginning of his career (which came about somewhat by accident after asking himself what kind of vampire a rabbit might make), he has been most interested in letting his imagination take him in whatever direction it cared to. So far, his imagination has led him to picture books, such as I Wish I Were a Butterfly and Brontorina (about a dinosaur who dreams of being a ballerina), mysteries, poetry (in the upcoming Addie on the Inside), and fiction that deals with issues that matter deeply to him. He is especially proud of The Misfits, which inspired national No Name-Calling Week ( and its sequel Totally Joe. He does not know where his imagination will take him in the next thirty-plus years, but he is looking forward to finding out.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of those rare combinations of a sensitive and engaging story complemented by equally compelling illustrations. Walrod's illustrations jump out of book with funky perspectives and a masterful use of color and texture. She interprets this very good story about individuality and freindship in a way that balances an important message with a style that produces so many fun (and funny) things to look at that kids (and parents)will have a hard time putting it down
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Emily K. Paster on August 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
My three year old brought this home from the library and while I first resisted this book, I eventually found myself mildly charmed by it. The story involves three mice, two boys and a girl, who are the best of friends until one day, the boys go off to join the local boys-only club and the girl reluctantly joins the girls-only club. This is where my objection to this book lies: the boys-only club looks like tons of fun, with boys playing pirate and such, while the girls' club shows the girls having tea parties and strategizing about how to "get a fella using mozzerella." Funny, I admit. But, why does the girls' club have to be so lame? The subtext seems to be: boys' games are fun for everyone but girls' games are just boring. But, the message in the end is that both boys and girls love adventure and want to play together. So, I will put aside my objections and continue to read this book, which has some great turns of phrase, to my daughter until it goes back to the library. But, I don't think I will be ordering it anytime soon.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Veronica L Hall on August 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Horace, Morris, and Dolores are best friends, but as you probably surmised, of DIFFERENT GENDERS! Readers (and listeners) are so relieved when each character resists "society's pressure to conform to gender stereotypes" and follows his or her heart. In the process, their circle of friends grows even bigger! (I like that it's Dolores who makes the first stand!) Pay attention to amusing details in the illustrations!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores is a great book about friendship! It's about 3 mice who are best of friends. Horace, Morris, and Dolores who experience a big problem when they came to a BOYS ONLY CLUB and poor Dolores wasn't a boy so she wasn't invited! So Dolores sadly kicked stones around and sat around thinking. Then Dolores finally made a GIRLS ONLY CLUB. One day the girls got bored and Dolores stepped up and suggested to go for a hike "ewww gross booooo noway!" screamed all the girls! Then the boys started getting bored and then left to go on a hike and met up with Dolores. If you read this fantastic extraordainary book by James Howe you'll love the morral. This book is defenatly a kindergarden-second grade book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
It simply stands to reason that the man who brought us the wonders of Bunnicula would be a mighty fine picture book author as well. I mean, it's obvious when you consider it. James Howe's quite the talented man and "Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores" is one of those picture books that stay with you long after an initial reading. After paging through the story I went on with my life. I went to work. I watched some television. I ate some Chinese food for lunch at a remarkably low price. And all the time that I was doing all this I'd find myself thinking back to "Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores". I thought about some of the careful phrasings James Howe uses in the book. I thought about what he's saying about gender, and social constructions, and friendship. I thought about how well the story was paced and how you can write a really good picture book without its characters resorting to malice or nastiness. In the end, I just have to say that this is one of those stories that stays with you. You will not find yourself significantly changed by the book and your children may only find it mildly diverting rather than mind-blowing. But it's darn good. Darn tootin' good.

So there are three small mice at the helm of this tale. There is Horace. And there is Morris. And there is (mostly) Dolores. These three are good friends who partake of a great many adventures, schemes, and exciting walkabouts. Then, one day, the two boys come across the Mega-Mice clubhouse. Eyeing the sign that states that no girls are allowed ("What kind of place doesn't allow girls?, Dolores wondered") Dolores is regretfully but swiftly abandoned. Following suit she joins The Cheese Puffs, a remarkably girly club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Cohen on November 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of three friends, 2 boys and 1 girl, who go on adventures together. The three are inseperable until they encounter a boys only club and they boys abandon Doloris. The illustrations tell us that in this club, the boys fence, play cops and robbers and the like. Doloris soon finds a girls only club that see joins. Pictures of the club tell us that the girls have tea parties, play with dolls, and do art projects.While the friends are engaging in gener appropriate actions, they are not happy and are sad when they part each morning. After a while, Doloris gets bored of these activities and asks if anyone wants to build a fort. When the girls respond negatively she decides to leave and one other girl comes with her to pick up Morris and Horace. The other boys respond negatively to playing with girls, except for one, who joins Horace, Morris, Doloris and her new friend. The five form their own club where everyone is allowed.

The author tackles gender roles in an interesting way. He does it in a way that attracts young readers and tells them that it is ok to be a girl and build forts, or be a boy and play with girls.
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