Cover image for Tom Mouse
Tom Mouse
Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Ct. : Roaring Brook Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Tom Mouse hides on the train he has boarded for travel and adventure, but an old woman finds and befriends him.
General Note:
"A Neal Porter book."
Reading Level:
520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 59930.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 33599 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



When a hobo cat tells Tom Mouse tales of travel, he boards a train headed for Chicago -- and an adventure in a world that's big and scary and exciting and beautiful. From a much-lauded and best-selling author, Tom Mouse is a tale of a mouse, a train, and a woman with a pocketful of surprises.

Author Notes

Ursula K. Le Guin was born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley, California on October 21, 1929. She received a bachelor's degree from Radcliffe College in 1951 and a master's degree in romance literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from Columbia University in 1952. She won a Fulbright fellowship in 1953 to study in Paris, where she met and married Charles Le Guin.

Her first science-fiction novel, Rocannon's World, was published in 1966. Her other books included the Earthsea series, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, The Lathe of Heaven, Four Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling. A Wizard of Earthsea received an American Library Association Notable Book citation, a Horn Book Honor List citation, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1979. She received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014. She also received the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. She also wrote books of poetry, short stories collections, collections of essays, children's books, a guide for writers, and volumes of translation including the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu and selected poems by Gabriela Mistral. She died on January 22, 2018 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. When Tom Mouse leaves his home in the railway station and boards a westbound train, he does everything a little wrong. First, he chooses a passenger car instead of a boxcar; second, he nibbles on snacks brought by Mrs. Powers, the elderly African American woman with whom he shares Roomette Nine; and finally, he dances lightly across her blanket at night, enchanted by the beautiful moon outside the window. Somehow, though, everything turns out right. His roommate befriends Tom, protects him, and offers to take him home with her and traveling with her, all over the world. A bit longer than most picture-book texts, this simply written story is told in four short chapters. The quiet dignity of the telling shows respect for its young audience. The warm colors and softly shaded forms in Downing's artwork create a series of appealing illustrations reflecting the story's essential charm. This is one mouse tale without silliness or sentimentality. Carolyn Phelan.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The creators of A Ride on the Red Mare's Back here take readers on another diverting ride. Tempted by the travel tales of a hobo rat who rides the rails on boxcars, Tom Mouse leaves his home in a hole in the wall of a station diner and sneaks aboard a Chicago-bound train. Though Tom fully expects that any human passenger who spies him will shriek, he has the good fortune to end up in a roomette occupied by Ms. Powers, a kind woman not at all squeamish or averse to sharing her small space and her snacks of cookies and carrots with a mouse. Le Guin's smooth, chatty narrative will endear both characters to readers as it relays the cheerful woman's one-sided conversation along with her new pal's unspoken thoughts. And kids will warm to the story's conclusion, which hints at a lasting friendship between the two. Downing's softly focused, appealing art at times recalls the work of Jim LaMarche in its use of imaginative perspectives and close-up images of the friends: the mouse scurries through human feet as he boards the train, gazing out on Ms. Powers's legs through the vents in her closet door, and views the passing world through the cabin's windowpane. Given its relatively lengthy text, this charmer makes a fitting read-aloud for the picture book set or an ideal beginning reader. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-A young mouse with an adventurous heart discovers the pleasures and challenges of travel, and the solace of companionship, when he hops aboard a cross-country train for a journey into the unknown. He hides away in a sleeping car where a kind woman with a twinkle in her eye shares her food, her pocket, and her enjoyment of the journey. Tom's worries about being discovered by the conductor and how he will eat, along with his awe at the wide world, are portrayed simply and effectively in four brief, picture-book chapters. The bright, clear illustrations are well suited to the text, giving readers a close-up look from Tom's perspective and mirroring the warmth of the story. Though now and then the protagonist looks a bit long-tailed for a mouse, he has real character, as does his white-haired, brown-skinned travel companion. And the fact that Ms. Powers travels with some regularity makes their meeting mutually fortuitous. Young readers will pick up on the fact that Tom is shown gazing out at the night from a lighted train compartment although the text specifically mentions that the woman has turned out the light. However, an earlier illustration captures the magic way a train passes through the countryside at night, under stars that seem to follow along, and the sense that the world is big and full of wonders.-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.