Mice Are Rather Nice

in Recommended Books

Mice by Rose Fyleman and Illustrated by Lois Ehler

“Do you think mice are nice?”

Lois Ehlert’s mice are “… rather nice. Their tails are long, their faces small. They haven’t any chins at all.”

In fact, Ehlert’s mice are irresistible. Their antics appear as pop-ups, almost as though they’ll scamper off the pages of this charming picture book. Ehlert, a Caldecott award winner, brings this well-loved poem to life with her handmade, paper-collage artwork. Her whimsical mice with buckteeth, circle ears and triangle bodies, scurry around the house, creating adventure on every page. The mice climb plants, craft pictures, brush their teeth, and nibble cupcakes. And the surprise ending shows the narrator of the poem is a cat who does indeed think mice are rather nice.

Rose Fyleman’s rhythmic poem, written in 1932, is a classic. It is perfect for reading aloud to children from age three and up. The simple verse is easy to memorize. It’s singable, too! Parents, grandparents, and children will chime in on every page.

Playful Early Learning:

  • Ask your child what she sees on the cover of the book.
  • Open the book to see the front and back covers. Notice the cat’s tail.
  • Read aloud and make your voice go high and low.
  • Point to the pictures; name the household items. Name the colors and simple shapes in the collage mice.
  • Notice the goofy cat at the end. Why is he up to no good?
  • Go on a circle hunt. Find circle shapes around the house.

Marjorie Nelsen and I included this rhythmic gem in our early childhood resource, Peak With Books. We partnered the poem with the storybook, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Look for more ideas for early learning in the preschool/kindergarten classroom.

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