168. Walter the Lazy Mouse by Marjorie Flack

Walter the Lazy Mouse by Marjorie Flack
Illustrated by Cyndy Szekers

Pages: 96
Finished: Oct. 22
First Published: 1937 Doubleday
Genre: children's fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my 8yob.

First sentence:

Once upon a time there was a small young mouse named Walter.

Comments: This is the type of book that they don't make anymore but that I grew up reading: short chapter books with two-colour illustrations on every page. The copy I have has been re-illustrated by Cyndy Szekers in 1963. Marjorie Flack, herself, would have illustrated the original and I wish I could see her illustrations. I have always loved Szekers' illustrations but do not like it when books are re-illustrated.

Walter is a lazy mouse. So lazy in fact that he spends most of his time in bed and his family forgets about him and moves out right from under him. He wakes to an empty house and heads off into the forest to find his family. He gets lost and with the help of a new friend, Turtle, he lands on an island he names 'Mouse Island' and he becomes very good friends with the frogs that live there. Being the only mouse around he finds he must work to survive: build a home, make furniture, find food, keep warm, etc. Eventually, he leaves his lazy ways behind forever.

This was a very enjoyable story. Both the 8yob and I enjoyed it very much. I couldn't help but recognise the similarities in plot with William Steig's 1976 Abel's Island. I wonder if he found inspiration for his novel from this wonderful story aimed at younger children, eight and under. Lovely book!


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