Mousing around

Cover of the first edition of The Tale of Two ...

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56. The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter

Like many of Potter’s books, this is firmly rooted in the culture and behaviours of its time – more so than some of the most famous of them, in fact. I’m not convinced I’d actually seen a copy of this particular one before, although most of the titles are familiar to me. As with some of the others, while in the beginning of the book the starring animals are fairly naturalistic in their behaviour, they seek out more human clothing and appurtenances, and by the end are living quite anthropomorphised lives. In this one we don’t see any humans directly, with interaction being mediated by a pair of dolls whose house the mice ransack. From the title onwards we are shown the negatives in their behaviour, while the mice are however given the chance to show that they are not trying to do wrong, but acting in an appropriate manner for them (little though the humans may like it), and even trying to make some kind of amends at the end.

As with Shirley Hughes, Beatrix Potter fully integrates her beautiful, distinctive and fairly lifelike illustrations into the story. A good author-illustrator can do wonders with picture books!

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7 Responses to “Mousing around”

  1. Siobhan Says:

    I love the Bad Mice. I remember wishing that there were some naughty mice like that at our house when I was little.

  2. hakea Says:

    I like that – they are just behaving as mice do. Sounds like a cute book.

    My husband has been downloading audio books from iTunes recently for the kids. You can get some classics very cheaply and it is a different way of experiencing books.

    • kaet Says:

      You should be able to get most of the classics free, from Librivox, if those are what you like. The reading quality is a bit variable, but many are very good indeed. I need to get back to the audiobooks myself, actually.

      It is a cute book. I just hope DD eventually enjoys all these children’s books as much as I do!

  3. Karyn @ kloppenmum Says:

    Beatrix Potter is huge in our house too. I love her personal story, such an interesting woman.

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