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Martin's Mice Paperback – March 10, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reissue edition (March 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067989098X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679890980
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Martin is a farm kitten who likes micebut not for dinner. Martin likes mice as pets. He catches a pregnant female, Drusilla, and keeps her in a discarded bathtub. As Martin grows up he learns about friendship, loyalty and responsibility; he is shattered when Drusilla escapes at the first opportunity. But not until he, too, is taken from his outdoor life and imprisoned as a pet in a luxurious apartment does Martin perceive the true meaning of freedom. King-Smith adds another winner to his distinguished body of work. The creatures that inhabit his rural universe, intent on their day-to-day lives (but occasionally aspiring to greatness), are sharply and believably characterized; the story is fast-paced and gripping. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-11.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5 King-Smith has written another engaging animal fantasy with plenty of humorous insight into the human condition. Martin, a kitten, is branded "wimp" by his siblings and "stupid" by other farm animals for his friendly interest in mice. When he captures the pregnant mouse Drusilla, he makes her and her eventual brood his pets. He loves caring for them and can't understand their desire for freedom. Only when he becomes the pet of a big city apartment dweller does he realize why his pets deserted him. Martin bravely jumps to freedom, and a fox helps him find his way back home, where he is content to be just a friend to mice. King-Smith's story has humor and a fast pace which will appeal to younger readers. Characterization is deftly conveyed for the various farm animals. Pug, Martin's father, is a standout as a ratcatcher with respect for his son's friends. When down-trodden Martin finally stands up for his rights, readers will cheer and also absorb the gentle lessons of being different, owning others, and self-respect. The slight British tone of this lively read-aloud should not detract from the enjoyment of this possible follow-up for those who loved Charlotte's Web.Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dick King-Smith was a farmer for twenty years before becoming a writer, and most of his animal stories are based on his farming experiences. He won the Guardian Award with The Sheep-Pig, which became the blockbuster film Babe. Dick lives in Gloucestershire.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
The movie is one of the best childrenÕs films ever, and the book is even better.
slomamma
I loved it so much that I read it over and over, year after year, (lol, I think I did about 4 different book reports on it!)
LambAround
This would be a great book for reading aloud to kids--there's a lot of witty bits to keep adults chuckling to themselves.
Kelly H

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Baust on October 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Once again, Dick King-Smith uses his talents to bring to life a barn-yard full of animals that depict many of today's societal problems while keeping it very humorous and childlike. Martin's Mice is an excellently told story that relates to children through the lovable character of Martin, the cat. Children quickly connect to this main character. They understand the feeling of being different and maybe even shunned by others. The way Martin cares for the mice even though he isn't suppose to appeals to a child's compassionate nature. It is then that King-Smith helps the reader to see that although Martin is a good "person" he still has some growing and learning to do. A reader could get a variety of messages out of Martin's Mice: Do unto others as you would have them do to you: Don't try to make someone be your friend: Respect everyone even if they are different from you and don't even want to be like you; Just becase two people are different doesn't mean they can't be friends; and on and on. Ultimately, Martin's Mice is a fabulously entertaining story with plenty of action and suspense to keep a reader interested. Read it! You too will love Martin and his quirky ways.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
I think Martin's Mice is a realy good book, because there's a cat who hates eating mice but his mother makes him eat at least on bit of mouse. Martin thinks they are really cute and adorable and wants to have one as a pet. When he gets older his mother stops catching them food. Martin and his brother and sister have to catch their own food. Luckily the farmer's daughter starts feeding him cat food. Martin decides that he will catch a mouse for a pet, so one day he goes and catches one for a pet. He catches a lady mouse, but what he does not know is that she is going to have children, too. I also like it because it was really funny, and it put a smile on my face the whole way through.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
Hi. My name is Sam Gonzalez. I am eight years old. Martin's Mice was one of the best Dick king-smith books I've ever read and I've read a lot of them. Believe me. It's funny. Why would a cat want to keep mice for pets? Maybe he was a vegetarian. I don't know what he is, but I like him a lot lot lot. You should read it at least once.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on October 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dick King Smith, the author of MartinÕs Mice, is best known for Babe the Gallant Pig, which of course was turned into a movie that is a lot better known than any of his books. The movie is one of the best childrenÕs films ever, and the book is even better. But it does have one disadvantage. The British dialect in Babe, while charming, is so thick it is difficult for many American parents and teachers to read aloud, and for American children to follow. DonÕt get me wrong. I love Babe and have read it aloud several times. But it is not easy.
What I like about MartinÕs Mice is that it has many of the same qualities that made Babe such a joy, including the gentleness, the emphasis on kindness, and the quirky, understated humor, but without the heavy dialect. There are Britishisms sprinkled throughout the book, but they are manageable with an American tongue.
In terms of plot and character, MartinÕs Mice is not quite up to the standards of Babe. But then how many books are? Like Babe, Martin is a farm animal who marches to a different drummer. HeÕs a cat who loves mice. But he loves them as pets, not as meals. The novel focuses on how he learns to love them more as friends and equals than as pets. Martin is a sweet, gentle character, but there is no denying he does not have the charm of Babe. And the novelÕs plot seems a little disjointed. The ending felt like it sprang on us out of nowhere.
Still, my six-year-old daughter and I both enjoyed the book. If you are looking for a childrenÕs book full of nice, gentle humor and kind characters, this is a good choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzyg@Splusnet.com on January 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
I've read this book 5 times, it's so good! Every time I was always sad it was over...just because it's so good. It's about a cat who, instead of eats mice, he keeps one as a pet and friend, despite everyones mocking and laughing at him. It just goes to show that opposites do attract and nothing can keep good friends apart! It's very creative and very well written! The author-Dick King Smith-has published several books and of all the ones I've read, this is definately my favorite. And Dick King Smith himself is not only an excelent author, but also an excelent human being...as I have written to him and he wrote back to me...twice! :) So behind this great book, there's an even greater person. I can garantee your children will love this book, and his many others...I do!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "simpspig" on April 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a really good book about a cat named Martin who befriends mice, even though that's not what cat's do. All his siblings call him a wimp, because they say he's afraid to catch a mouse; he knows he's not a wimp! He just doesn't want to eat a mouse! They're nice, why would he want to eat one? Martin keeps mice as pets upstairs in a bathtub. He does everything he can to keep them happy. But when they escape, he doesn't understand why they wanted freedom so bad. Only after he becomes a locked up housepet does he understand and escape himself to go back to his home. THE END
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