Book Reviews, Mamaishness, Vintage Book Wednesday

Santa Mouse

Before I get started, I need to offer an apology. Santa Mouse, by Michael Brown, was THE Christmas book in my house growing up. It is zero percent religious, but still manages to get the point across that Christmas is about giving, not getting.

children's christmas book

Anyway, I had originally planned to feature this much earlier in December, but my cursory research showed it to be out of print. And not just inconveniently-out-of-print-you-have-to-buy-it-used, but expensive-to-buy-at-all-out-of-print. [amazon text=Don’t believe me?&asin=0760703558] Just take a gander.  Something made me look specifically at Barnes and Noble, though, and you can find it there, but only for Nook, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Then, the girls started requesting it. A lot. Multiple times a day. We went to my parents’ house, where my brother’s copy still lives, and they wanted it there, too. This made me realize that I need to tell y’all about it, even if you’re going to have to do some detective work to find it. So, I’m sorry I’m recommending something so awesome that you’ll have so much trouble locating.

In a nutshell, Santa Mouse tells the story of a young mouse who wants to give a gift to Santa. He wraps up his most special piece of cheese, and puts it under the tree on Christmas Eve. He wakes up suddenly to find himself “looking right in Santa’s eye,” and Santa gives him a name, a suit, and a job. Santa Mouse becomes Santa’s special helper, and they travel together delivering gifts.

The story is written in rhyme, and it’s just a joy to read aloud. There is an unfortunate reference to playing as “Eskimos,” which I (poorly) edit to be “Inuit,” and I think a newer edition (!!!) with a slight change there would be a great additional to the canon of children’s literature. You basically can’t dislike this book, and it has worked in my family for two generations to make little ones think of what they could give – to Santa, or to others – instead of focusing on that all-important Christmas list.

children's christmas board book

A few years ago, I found this board book version at a used book store. The paintings are gone, replaced with some sort of 1970s era puppets, and the overall effect is lost. The text is in prose instead of rhyme, and the magic just isn’t there. The girls don’t grab this one at all, despite the obvious attempts to make it attractive to children. To quote Mystic Pizza, “you don’t monkey with tradition.”

Moral of the story: get out there and find yourselves a copy of Santa Mouse. The children in your life will thank you, and you’ll get to start leaving a piece of cheese for Santa Mouse right next to the cookies and milk.

{Should you unwisely choose to spend upwards of $40 on a single copy of this book, Read It, Make It! will earn a small commission. While we will shake our heads at your choice, we will also say thank you.}