Name of Book: Welcome Home, Mouse
Author/Illustrator: Elisa Kleven
Publisher: Tricycle Press
Audience: Ages 2-5
Summary: Stanley loves to help, but sometimes he gets so excited he makes mistakes. While running an errand for his mom he bounces his ball right on top of Mouse’s house and destroys the house. Stanley wants to make up for what he has done, but how?
Literary elements at work in the story: Kleven uses detailed illustrations to help the reader see what Stanley sees, the answer to his problem. The story is wonderfully understated and simple without being simplistic. Children will love finding bits and pieces of life in her collages; postage stamps, wallpaper, pieces of pottery.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: Because the story is told with generic animals and in a folksy setting, this story could be told to almost any ethic or cultural group.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-2
Theology: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” Faith without love is nothing. Elephant knows this. He could promise to be careful. He could tell mouse he’d help him find another hole. He could say, “Bad break.” But he doesn’t. He knows that love requires more than pat phrases or empty platitudes. He loves mouse and knows he must give him a full home to replace the one he broke. Often children feel they do not have the power or the skills to physically replace what they have broken and in some cases that may be true. But what they can always do is repair the love that has been damaged. Elephant’s gift to mouse is not just his new home, but the love he has for mouse that created the new home. Love is the central theme of the story and that is something even the youngest child can give.
Faith Talk Questions:
- How did Elephant feel after his ball smashed mouse’s house?
- How did Mouse feel?
- How would you feel?
- How did Elephant solve his problem?
- What was mouse’s reaction to Elephant’s solution?
- Have you ever broken something? Has someone ever broken something of yours? What did you do about it?
- Jesus says if you have faith without love you have nothing. What does that mean? How did Elephant show that love?
- How can we show our love to those we love even when we do something that hurts them or when they hurt us?
Review prepared by Janet Lloyd
Welcome Home, Mouse by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.