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The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph S. Mouse #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  55,617 Ratings  ·  1,175 Reviews
Ralph the mouse was terrified. All he had wanted to do was ride the little motorcycle someone had left on the table. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle had taken a terrible fall - right into the bottom of the wastepaper basket. He was trapped, left to wait for whatever fate was in store for him.
Hardcover, 158 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Turtleback Books (first published 1965)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Dec 31, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Mouse and the Motorcycle BLEW MY MIND when I was about 8 years old. I remember thinking, "It's a mouse, okay. And he's riding...a motorcycle?!!"

My dad's a mechanic, so naturally I worried about things like access to the appropriate-sized tools and where the mouse would find parts for the bike, I mean, it's soooo small! What if he blew a plug? Is NAPA even going to have that?! And if it's foreign-made, well then that's a whole other pandora's box of problems right there!
Feb 03, 2008 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, the underrated, overlooked and oft forgotten prequel to Runaway Ralph and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence, tells the tail (yes I did!) of one Ralph S. Mouse, a grease monkey of an entirely different genus (Mus). Praised in France for its controversial use of alcoholism in mice and free-spirited sexuality, the book received numerous awards including the prestigious Caldecott Medal. It was later the basis for the film Motorcycle Diaries, for which it was rumored method actor Gael G ...more
Brian Harticat
Jul 09, 2008 Brian Harticat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well this book took me a while to read, it's heavy reading, but I did get through it. This mouse get's a rippin' bike and proceeds to kick ass. Lot's of foolin' around. I do think he needed some sort of biker babe for the back seat, and maybe have some ties to a biker gang of woverines. The mouse didn't have any cool tatoos either. All in all a pretty good read.
Aug 09, 2012 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this aloud to the kids and they loved it. Remember just loving this when I was a kid as well . . . but wasn't as interested as an adult as I thought I would be (hence only 4 stars). Do love the quaint nature of the story and characters and wish more current chapter books for kids were written like this instead of featuring street smart kids from dysfunctional families. Childhood should be a time to be immersed books like Charlotte's Web, Homer Price, and Mouse and the Motorcycle. Loved that ...more
Jan 18, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No telling how many time I read this book when I was a kid. One of the top ten of my childhood!
Tony DiTerlizzi
Jul 17, 2010 Tony DiTerlizzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mouse buddy + toy motorcycle = Awesome!
Oliver Radtke
Jan 13, 2014 Oliver Radtke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” by Beverly Cleary. The book is about a young mouse named Ralph. He lives in a hotel with his mother and two younger siblings. He wants to explore the hotel more but his mother will not let him. Then one day a boy name Keith checks in at the hotel and both of their lives change. Both Keith and Ralph can both understand each other and Keith lets Ralph drive his mouse sized motorcycle. They both help each other throughout the book and they really get t ...more
Zach Costello
May 16, 2013 Zach Costello rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Mouse and the Motorcycle" is a book about a mouse named Ralph who lives in a hotel. One day a family come into the apartment where Ralph lives. One boy has some toy cars and one is a motorcycle. When the family is gone Ralph decides to take the motorcycle for a ride. Ralph ends up falling into a wastebasket. When the family comes back the child finds Ralph. The two are able to talk to each other, and they become friends. Later in the book Ralph loses the motorcylce and the child becomes ill ...more
Casey ~Kaleidoscopic Killer of the Deep~
This is the first chapter book that I read aloud to my oldest son.

He absolutely loved it!

I had read this as a child but it had been so long all I remembered was that Ralph rode the motorcycle and that he had a cute little helmet. I'm glad that such a sweet little story was Logan's introduction to chapter books. I mean you can't really go wrong with Beverly Cleary. I plan for us to take on some Roald Dahl next so he is going to have high expectations of books when he starts reading anything lon
Jan 23, 2013 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, childrens
A childhood favorite revisited. It's a simple story, free of extraneous threads and unneeded distractions, and portrays its characters in small scenes that give the reader enough space to let his imagination wander. Maybe I'm a cynic, but a tale this direct would probably have a hard time being published now.
Brandon Loehrke
“The Mouse and the Motorcycle” was a fun book to read. This book is about a mouse named Ralph who lives in room 215 of an old hotel. Ralph is growing up and doesn't have the trust he thinks he deserves. A boy’s toy motorcycle changed just about everything in Ralph’s life. Ralph and the boy became friends. Ralph had to prove to the boy that they can be friends again and make everything better before the boy leaves the hotel.

The book is told in the third person narrative. This story is about Ralp
Feb 10, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
I vaguely remember reading this as a preteen. I can't wait to read it again with our girls!

July 2013 update: We finally got around to this one. I borrowed an audio CD of this book, with William Roberts as the narrator.

Unfortunately, the story seemed a bit old fashioned and dragged in places - our youngest complained that she was bored with the book about halfway through (so did my husband), but we listened on and she seemed to be more engaged in the story toward the end.

The CD was a bit garble
Dec 17, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought that it was nice of Keith to let Ralph have his motorcycle because it was his favorite toy.

I loved the helmet Keith made for Ralph out of a ping pong ball. Ralph loved his crash helmet.

This book reminds me of Stuart Little.

Aug 03, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review from an 8-year-old:

"This book is about a mouse and a motorcycle that he rides when he goes out of a mouse-hole and onto a dresser. He thinks to himself, 'I bet I can ride that,' and later on he can.
The motorcycle belongs to a boy named Keith. Keith and the mouse (Ralph) become friends. It is interesting because Keith and the mice can talk to each other but no one else can understand mouse talk.
Ralph has many adventures. My favorite part is when Ralph has to get a pill for Keith, who get
Nov 03, 2012 Aura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This is a good book for kids and parents too. It engages kids imagination. My son liked the motorcycle and the adventure. We read this book together althought mostly he read it to me and it had good vocabulary and a pretty good pace. He is a first grader but reads at third grade level and it was a good level for him. We are both ready to read the second one. He hopes the second one is similar to this one.
Mar 03, 2014 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nostalgia, classic-s
I remember reading lots of Beverly Cleary books growing up, I loved Ramona and Beezus, and Ellen Tebbits was one of my favorites. I can't say I recall reading much of Henry Huggins or the Ralph S. Mouse series though, so it was nice to recapture some of that feeling I so enjoyed from the other books. I loved how Cleary captures the desire of Keith and Ralph both wanting to be seen as responsible by their parents and how wanting to grow up too fast isn't as important as being patient. There are m ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Jaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-5-star-books
I love this children's classic by Beverly Cleary. It's got a mouse and a motorcycle, what's not to like? I love the interaction between Keith and Ralph as two kindred souls found in two different species. This story shows true friendship and I loved watching Ralph "grow up" in the story. I'm passing this one on to my students.
Jose Galvan
Aug 11, 2015 Jose Galvan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children, parents,
This is a Beverly Cleary book so you know it is excellent, but this book is in a whole other league from Ramona and Henry because of the fantasy aspect. We have ALL played with cars/motorcycles/etc at one point in our lives, and haven't we all daydreamed of the vehicles magically propelling themselves? With a passenger?
Also typing this it just occurred to me that had Ralph met up with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, perhaps the outcome would have been different? Then again the Rats of NIMH ha
Dec 12, 2007 'sunny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this to my class. Ralph is great. He's an underestimated juvenile mouse who gives a heroic and inspirational (for 4th graders, age or mentality) performance. It was fun to read it to the class because I could show off some motorcycle knowledge and make pbb, ppb, pbb sounds when Ralph rode around.
One drawback: most of the kids had seen the movie version so they already know what was going to happen. Damn Hollywood, stealing all the fun.
É F.K. Ó Conghaile
Let's start with the stuff I didn't like. I dislike the repeated comments about animal death. It is too blatant to be understandable or appear beneficial to carefulness. Too insensitive to make sense. A worrying mother whom describes graphic death to her offspring in such an age-unfriendly manner (as if such an age-justification exists), while simultaneously undermining the kids' sense of growing up and independence. The essence of such behaviour is one of psychological abuse and the depressing ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Alizon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read many other Beverly Cleary books in my childhood, but I never got around to this one. My eight-year-old was getting bored with the books on his bookshelf and wanted something new for this month's reading challenge, so we looked at his much older brother's old books on his shelves, and this one popped out and grabbed his attention.

We ended up reading more than a chapter a night together because it is such a great story, and we didn't want to stop. Tonight, I let him stay up way past his be
Jen Russell
Mar 03, 2012 Jen Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect read for the boys! The loved it! A little bit of excitement/ adventure with short, somewhat "dangerous" events. A delightful read. Requesting the rest of the series from the library. An added bonus, because the mouse risks his life to find an asprin for friend, a human boy, when he has a fever, Nate now believes in the importance of taking medicine to help lower his fever:)
May 13, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audrey (age 5) really enjoyed this book. I probably hadn't read it since elementary school, and it still entertained me, as well. It's kind of funny that Ralph admires and appreciates the motorcycle more than its owner, Keith, but I suppose the gutsy little mouse pulls through for his human friend in the end.
May 01, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and the young-at-heart
Shelves: owned, childrens
A recent trip to Barnes & Noble to read to the children for Story Hour made me nostalgic for some of the books I loved as a kid. I remember the teacher reading this book aloud to the class when I was very small; probably first or second grade. It's a charming story about a boy and a mouse and a toy motorcycle.
Jul 02, 2008 Braxton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good lord, that was one of my most favoritest books as a lad, I actually remember my research to discover if a mouse really could drive a mini motorcycle. Okay, well maybe it went no further than me asking my mommy, but I was crushed nonetheless. My 7 year old self gives it 5 stars.
Charles Falla
Apr 29, 2014 Charles Falla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a great story of courage and bravery. Ralph, a young mouse, has always wanted his chance to explore and see the outside world but when he gets the chance he is too afraid to take it. A family with a son named Keith come to hotel where Ralph lives and it takes some encouragement from Keith for Ralph to rustle up some bravery and courage to do what he’s always wanted to do. This book can easily be implemented into a classroom lesson to teach the importance of friend ...more
Sep 29, 2014 Anissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My opinion on the Mouse and the Motorcycle is awesome because the character is about my age and it has some humor in it. The strength of the book is when Keith gets sick and Ralph is going from room to room to find an aspirin. When he finds it he knows it's going to be risky getting it to Keith because if he puts it in his mouth he knows that he can die fir it. The weakness of the book is when Ralph tells Keith to put the motorcycle under the bed because the maid never cleans under there. Then w ...more
Richard Ward
Jul 20, 2015 Richard Ward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids who like small mammals.
A boy on vacation with his family befriends a boy mouse who lives in the cheap motel where his family is spending a few days. The mouse rides the boy's tiny toy motorcycle and has various adventures around the motel. He's gotta look out for the housekeeping staff, the boy's parents (who don't like mice), and larger animals in and around the motel. Children will like the book more than adults will, which is OK since it is a children's book after all. One of Beverley Cleary's most popular books, y ...more
Jun 05, 2015 JBF rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book-without-pictures for K! He was skeptical at first but I think he's hooked.
Apr 02, 2014 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mice aren't supposed to ride motorcycles... until now. Ralph the Mouse is an adventurous little mouse, he's longed to do something exciting, like going to the ground floor. When Keith Gridley stays at the Mountain View Inn, he meets a little mouse, Ralph. Keith lets Ralph ride his toy motorcycle, and Ralph goes on a crazy adventure. Read the book to find out what happens

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a third-person book with the main characters Ralph the Mouse, and Keith Gridley. I would recomm
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What a cute book 12 44 Nov 13, 2015 02:01PM  
Why does Ralph like his motorcycle 2 11 Nov 13, 2015 01:58PM  
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Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly At
More about Beverly Cleary...

Other Books in the Series

Ralph S. Mouse (4 books)
  • Runaway Ralph (Ralph S. Mouse, #2)
  • Ralph S. Mouse (Ralph S. Mouse, #3)
  • The Ralph Mouse Collection (Ralph #1-3)

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“Neither the mouse nor the boy was the least bit surprised that each could understand the other. Two creatures who shared a love for motorcycles naturally spoke the same language.” 15 likes
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