Shanna Gonzalez's Reviews > The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse

The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter
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May 27, 09

bookshelves: children-04-08
Read in May, 2009

Mrs. Tittlemouse is a fastidious little mouse, living alone in a very clean house. Whenever another animal or insect comes to her home, she shoos it away and sweeps up after it; but when a swarm of bees make their home in one of her store-rooms she is pressed to allow her boorish toad neighbor Mr. Jackson to evict them. After he leaves, she laments the terrible mess made of her home, and sets to work straightening things up. When she is satisfied, she gives a civilized party for five other mice, but must solve the problem of Mr. Jackson, who arrives uninvited, following the smell of honey. She has, however, anticipated his rude behavior and prevented his entry by diminishing the size of her doorway. She hands out some refreshment through the window and he happily enjoys it on the lawn.

The story itself is charming, and Mrs. Tittlemouse cleverly solves the problem of appropriately protecting her home's boundaries without being rude herself. What is most endearing about this story, as in all of Beatrix Potter's works, is the fact that her anthropomorphized animals strongly retain their real animal qualities, both in illustrations and in their behavior. Her stories aren't really about human beings in animal form; they are a kind of magical world in which real animals take on certain human traits. This is a wonderful kind of fantasy that should not be missed.
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