How to Catch a Mouse

Written and Illustrated by Philippa Leathers Candlewick Press, 2015

This is Clemmie.  Clemmie is a brave, fearsome mouse catcher.

Clemmie the cat is good at stalking, chasing and being patient. She knows all about mice, even though she has never seen one, and believes they all stay away from her because they are afraid. She is constantly on the lookout, pouncing on a ribbon that could be a pink mouse tail and a stuffed bear that has round mouse-like ears. She hears a strange noise in the kitchen and goes in to investigate, finding a weird looking creature nibbling on crackers. When she removes its disguise, she sees that it’s a mouse and it runs away before she can catch it.  But then she steals the idea of disguising herself, which becomes a new part of her plan to catch the mouse.

Who is that behind those Foster Grants?

This book, from author/illustrator Philippa Leathers, is sure to be a favorite with cat lovers (and probably mouse lovers, too). Clemmie is supremely confident and genuinely believes that the mice are all afraid of her. I love that she only allows herself a moment of disappointment when she finds a real mouse and learns that she is not as fierce as she believed. Instead, she immediately rebounds and uses her new knowledge against the mouse. The illustrations, in pencil and watercolor, use soft colors to make these characters instantly likeable and younger readers will enjoy finding the mouse on all the pages, gradually disguising himself so Clemmie won’t find him. It’s a simple story, but a very cute one.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that before you take on any project, it’s a good idea to learn everything you can about it (even if you think you already know it all).

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