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The Princess Mouse : A Tale of Finland Hardcover – February 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum; First Edition edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689829124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689829123
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,571,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-The time has come for two brothers to choose their brides, and they must follow the family tradition of cutting down a tree, seeing where it points, and then walking that way until they find a sweetheart. The older sibling arranges for his tree to land in the direction of the house of the girl he wants to marry, but the younger boy's tree points to the forest. The only creature he meets there is a tiny mouse, who declares that she will make him a worthy bride. After both sweethearts pass tests of skill, she does just that, surprising all as an enchantment is broken and she is once again a human princess. Shepard does his usual capable job of retelling this old tale in clear, simple, yet effective prose. Source notes are appended, as is a reference to his Web site, where activities to extend this and other books may be found. Gore's acrylic-and-pastel artwork is a lighthearted match for this whimsical tale, but occasionally the palette lacks variety and readers are overwhelmed by the copious use of greens. On the whole, though, this is a pleasant, attractive addition to folklore shelves.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. Mikko and his brother are now old enough to marry. Following family marriage tradition, each cuts down a tree and follows the direction it points--in Mikko's case, to the forest. To his surprise, there's a house. More surprising is its inhabitant--a mouse whose kindness wins his heart. Alas, the family can't see beyond her fur, and Mikko's disdaining brother kicks his beloved mouse into the stream. When an enchanted princess emerges, true love triumphs. Shepard's charmingly droll version of a Finnish folktale combines classic elements with unexpected, witty details--among them, an outspoken mouse who sings a little song in the story (lyrics and melody appended). The jewel-toned art has beautiful luminescence; the elongated, somewhat blocky look of the characters reinforces the fantasy; and the mice are downright irresistible. An endnote identifies story sources and a Web site for a readers' theater script of the tale. Quirky, enjoyable, and easily adapted for storytime. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of numerous children's books, as well as books on reader's theater, children's writing, and publishing. He lives with his wife and fellow author, Anne L. Watson, in Friday Harbor, Washington.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland" begins with a simple premise, which is that in Mikko's family when young men get to the age when it is time for them to marry they find their future brides by cutting down a tree and following it points. It so happens that in this particular farm family the two sons are old enough to marry so the father instructs them to follow the family tradition, declaring, "That's how we've done it, and that's how we always well." The older son knows exactly who he wants to marry and cuts down the true so that it points right to her door, but when the younger son, Mikko, cuts down his tree it points into the deep forest. His brother mocks him, wondering if Mikko's sweetheart will be a wolf or a fox. But Mikko walks off into the forest declaring "I'll find who I find."
What Mikko finds is a mouse who is more than happy to be his sweetheart. Strangely enough, Mikko agrees and returns home to tell his father he has found a sweetheart. The tale now becomes interesting because Mikko's father has arranged a series of tests for the sweethearts of his two sons to take to prove their worth (do not ask why, you know what the father will say). From the title of the this story being told by Aaron Shepard you can probably guess how it is going to turn out in the end, but that does not distract all that much from the charm of this tale which is illustrated by Leonid Gore. You have many of the traditional elements of such folktales, but there are some nice unexpected twists that will delight readers of all ages.
Shepherd based his retelling of this tale mostly on story of "The Forest Bride," which I actually prefer as a title, but also on the story of "The Mouse Bride.
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Format: Hardcover
In Finland, it is tradition for men to choose their brides by cutting down a tree and walking in the direction it points until they find their true love. When Mikko, a farmer's son, cuts down his tree, it points into the forest where the only talking being he comes across is a friendly mouse. The mouse convinces Mikko to let her be his sweetheart, but when the wedding day arrives, the guests are astonished by his choice. His scoffing older brother throws the mouse into the river. Suddenly, the creature turns into a princess and after the wedding ceremony, takes Mikko back to her castle to live.

Aaron Shepard's book is an endearing love story that teaches readers not to look solely on a person's outward appearance. The story is simply yet well written and the illustrations are both unique and appropriate for the Scandinavian setting. Children and adults alike would enjoy this folktale.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My granddaughters (4 and 6) really liked this story, but I knew they would. Before buying this copy for them I had read the library book version to several second graders, both boys and girls. Even the boys were interested.
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By HR Lady on September 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for my granddaughter; I think she will like it, but so far she hasn't read it yet.
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By LE on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great story. I first read it as a reading play and loved it. So I looked for it in a book form and was please to find information about the reading play in the back. It is a bit pricey for a paper back, but since it was the only one I could find by this author and I knew I wanted this version. I am extremely happy with my purchase. The story is about traditions and loyalty.
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