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Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse: 11/07/08

Leo Lionni was a Dutch artist who grew up in Italy but fled to the United States at the outbreak of WWII. There he worked as a graphic artist and illustrator for Fortune Magazine. He returned to Italy in the 1960s where he began a new career as the writer and illustrator of children's literature. On of his earliest books is Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse.

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse is an old childhood favorite of mine. Alexander is a mouse who lives in the wall of a home that has a little girl. One of her favorite toys is a wind up mouse named Willy. Alexander and Willy strike up a friendship that is slowly tainted by Alexander's jealousy over Willy's popularity. In the end though Alexander comes to rescue of Willy.

For the choice of a wind-up mouse and for the theme of the transformational powers of love, I am reminded of Russell Hoban's novel The Mouse and His Child. Lionni's book is a nice introduction to the much longer children's novel.

Leo Lionni's illustrations are similar to Eric Carl's. My children also have A Color of His Own, a book I'm surprised I haven't reviewed on this blog.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Saturday, November, 8, 2008 at 09:23:59


I love Lionni's books. I think Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse was the first one I ever read, (or had read to me) and Frederick is my favorite. I've heard of the Mouse and His Child but never picked it up. Maybe it would be a good one to share with my four-year-old? "

Comment #2: Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 11:15:35


The Mouse and His Child is recommended for children ages 9 to 12. If your 4-year-old can handle sitting through chapter books like The Wind and the Willows then he might be ready for it. If not, wait a few years to share it with your child.

Comment #3: Saturday, November, 8, 2008 at 15:24:03


I can't believe that I've never read this book. It sounds good.

Comment #4: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 21:05:30


It is. It's a cute kid's book.

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