We heard it during a pause in our conversation. A pause that grew as we waited to hear it again.
“What was that?” he asked.
“I heard it too. It’s probably just the heat.” I replied. I’m a firm believer that something cannot be true unless you say it out loud. So, whatever you do, don’t say the thing you don’t want to be true. Just pretend it’s the heat. We’re all a lot happier that way.
“It sounded like a mouse.” He does this to me every time.
From there we alternated being silent, to hear more of the squeaking, and talking about where we heard it. I curled my feet up under me and pulled the edges of my blanket up off of the floor. By the time we went to bed, we had concluded that the squeaker likely wasn’t in the house but might be in the crawlspace below or, worse, in the walls.
It was difficult to sleep that night.
This is the story of a house that does not need a mouse. A house that has more than enough going on as it is. A house that, with it’s four humans, two frequently hungry cats, and one starving fish (not to mention a half dozen wilting plants), doesn’t have space for one more living thing.
My kids, on the other hand, are currently fascinated by a story about a house that does need a mouse. Appropriately titled: This House Needs A Mouse by C. Jeffery Nunnally
This House Needs a Mouse is the story of one house and three families. The tale begins when the mother of the first family seeks a mouse to solve the problem of her crumb-covered floors. They find the perfect mouse, an extraordinary one, who performs his job with pride. But when the family has to move, the mouse is left behind and a whole new adventure begins.
I’ve been known to enjoy reading a book to my kids over and over and over again if that book is fun to read. I get just as lost as my kids do in the rhythm and lyric of rhyming, repetition, and alliteration that the best kids’ books seemed to get right. And this book gets it right. Of course, the playfulness is not just for fun. The writing introduces young readers (and writers!) to language, vocabulary, and writing craft.
In addition to fun to read, I also look for books with a smile at the end. If you’ve read enough kids’ books, you know what I’m talking about. The smile you couldn’t stop if you tried that stretches across your face after you read a really good children’s book. The smile you feel happening as you reach the last page and you know the ending is going to be oh so sweet and perfect, just the way you wish all good books ended. I won’t spoil it for you here but this book has a big ‘ol smile at the end.
Both kids loved the book. My son conveyed how much he loved it by actually sitting still through the entire reading. My daughter share that she liked how the family knew the mouse was the crumb-hunting kind when they first picked him out and I sorta love how she was drawn to that part — the part where the mother sees the mouse’s true potential and helps him fulfill his dream. (Yes, perhaps a bit dramatic, but I’m stickin with it).
As for our house? We called an exterminator who came and thoroughly examined our home for a mouse with the goal of removing him, be he the crumb-hunting kind or not (and lord knows we have crumbs). The day before he arrived we heard the squeaking noise again and, this time, managed to identify its source. It was the cat.
I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own (about both the book and the idea of a mouse in my house).