Cover image for The marvelous mouse man
The marvelous mouse man
Hoberman, Mary Ann.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
When the townsfolk hire a mysterious man to purge the village of mice, he gets rid of too many other things as well.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.0 0.5 57769.
Added Author:
Format :


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

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As more and more mice pour into an unsuspecting town, the people grow increasingly distressed. Who can get rid of the pests? The marvelous Mouse Man claims he can lead them away--ut he ends up taking more than anyone bargained for.
Animals and humans play follow-the-leader in this fresh and funny adaptation of a familiar story. But it's an inspired little girl who finally comes to the rescue of her neighbors . . . and of the marvelous Mouse Man.

Author Notes

MARY ANN HOBERMAN has published more than twenty books for children, including the American Book Award winner A House Is a House for Me . She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

LAURA FORMAN studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The Marvelous Mouse Man is her first book for children. She lives in Venice, California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 6-9. When mice overrun a small, early twentieth-century American village, the townspeople are up in arms. In desperation, the mayor offers a reward to anyone who can «Rid the town of all its mice / And banish them forever.» A tall, blond stranger in a red cape answers the call, and, for a steep price, lures all the vermin away with the scent of ripe cheese. Unfortunately, with the mice away, the bored cats, dogs, and children soon follow, and the villagers have no cash left to pay the stranger for another fix. Finally, they construct a house for the stranger, and, in return, he agrees to keep the mouse population under control. Hoberman's humorous, rhymed verses add a fresh twist to this old story of the Pied Piper. Forman's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations favor greens and sepia tones and include many details of small-town American life. A satisfying choice for reading aloud or reading alone. Kay Weisman.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a memorable picture-book debut recalling both the golden age of children's illustration and contemporary artists like Jim LaMarche, Forman contributes luminous, finely detailed illustrations to Hoberman's (A House Is a House for Me) sprightly variation on a tried-and-true tale. Achieving an antique effect using pencils and watercolors, the artist portrays a small town of yesteryear whose streets are overrun by a quickly multiplying throng of mice. Young readers will gleefully spot these unwanted visitors in the most unlikely places: peeking out of pockets, perched atop buildings, darting up a pant leg. Lengthy rhyming stanzas (which intermittently address readers as "sir") explain the townfolks' reaction: "I tell you, sir, it was not nice. This town was soon as warm with mice. You need not look but once or twice To see them frisk and frolic Till not a single store or house Was uninvaded by a mouse And every husband and his spouse Was rendered melancholic." Enter the Pied Piper-like savior, shown as a gangly old gent wearing a stovepipe hat and crimson cape, who entices the mice to follow him not with music but with an odor of intrinsic appeal to the persistent pests: "Some said it smelled of Brie from France, While others swore 'twas Liederkranz Or Gorgonzola, ripe, perchance, Or Stilton, Swiss, or Edam." Hoberman's agile and comical verse cleverly contorts a classic and adds a second star: an appealing young heroine. Yet it is Forman's art, at once inventive and nostalgic, that makes this a book to savor. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Forman's muted pencil-and-watercolor illustrations lend an old-world feel to this kinder, gentler version of Robert Browning's "The Pied Piper." When this turn-of-the-century town is overrun with mice, a mysterious stranger solves the problem with his magical, cheese-scented fan. This mayor, unlike his earlier counterpart, pays his debt, but since the cats follow the mice, and the dogs trail the cats, the multicultural cast of children is not far behind. The story does not end here, however. A young girl, visible from the opening pages, proposes a solution, and all ends well. Hoberman's poem is skillfully constructed. Each verse is composed of three lines of iambic tetrameter, with the fourth in trimeter. The rhyme scheme is AAAB CCCB, with choices as sophisticated as "frolic- melancholic." Forman seems to have absorbed the palettes and postures of classic illustrators (L. Leslie Brooke, Kate Greenaway, Jessie Willcox Smith) and the humor, sense of drama, and soft focus of modern artists (Ron Barrett, Chris Van Allsburg). Her interpretation is both artful and whimsical. An imaginative introduction to a timeless tale for small groups or individuals.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.