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Seven Blind Mice

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  8,236 ratings  ·  723 reviews
It's a pillar, says one. It's a fan, says another. One by one, the seven blind mice investigate the strange Something by the pond. And one by one, they come back with a different theory. It's only when the seventh mouse goes out-and explores the whole Something-that the mice see the whole truth. Based on a classic Indian tale, Ed Young's beautifully rendered version is a t ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published June 10th 2002 by Puffin Books (first published April 29th 1992)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  8,236 ratings  ·  723 reviews

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I love this lesson. As far as I know, it comes from the Buddha. There are 7 mice here and I usually hear the moral told as 4 mice. They each feel a part of an Elephant, but they are blind you see so they each get different impressions of what the thing is. I love the moral stated so beautifully in this book: “ Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.” Acupuncture is a wholistic medicine and so we spoke of this idea and parable often in our program with the 4 ...more
Both very much fun and also engagingly informative, Ed Young's Seven Blind Mice is in my opinion most perfectly suited for joyful and engaging entertainment but it also contains a seeming multitude of important teachables. Now while the main message promoted with and in Seven Blind Mice is of course that one needs to know, to be aware of, to understand the various parts to comprehend and appreciate the whole and this then vice versa, Seven Blind Mice might also be used to familiarise young child ...more
Lisa Vegan
I love this book. It’s a simple tale about the whole being bigger than the parts, about really seeing, and it manages to teach about colors, numbers 1 through 7, and the days of the week. Immediately knew what the whole was, but young children, having this read to them or reading it for the first time, might find out only when the seventh and last mouse takes a more careful look.

The paper-collage illustrations are very appealing; they’re bright, bold, colorful, and eye catching. I really liked t
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is another one of my favorite folktales, beautifully illustrated by Ed Young. The blind mice as silhouettes lends emphasis to their blindness.
Cheryl struggles to catch up
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: okc, more-wi
This has been one of my favorites since it was quite new, when my older sons were reading it in school. I found the cover enchanting, with the contrast between the black silhouettes, the mottled earthy background, and the rainbow in the title. And the first few pages, with the rainbow grass stem shaped forms marching across, quite literally thrill me.

Then the structure of the story, which can be used to teach counting, colors, days of the week, ordinal numbers, and of course the theme as stated
Sara Ullery
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-reviews
Seven Blind Mice
• This delightful book tells the story of seven blind mice and their attempt to figure out a mysterious shape near them. Each mouse comes back with a different opinion of what it is. What could it be?
• Ages 3-7 Grades Prek-2
• Teachers may use this for English, Art
• Individual students will enjoy the illustrations and reading the sight words provided in the text.
• Small groups may form predictions of what the object is before reading, then compare after reading the text.
• Whole cl
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Caldecott Honor 1993
This is about seven colorful mice and how they each perceive an unknown object, an elephant, differently because they didn't observe the object in its entirety.
The story concludes with a moral:
Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Folklore Enthusiasts / Ed Young Fans
Author/artist Ed Young, who won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for his 1990 picture-book, Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China , went on to win a Caldecott Honor with this 1992 title, which offers an inventive murine retelling of the classic Indian fable of The Blind Men and the Elephant. Seven blind mice, confronted with "a strange Something" by their pond, set out to solve the mystery of its existence. One by one they explore the Something, each coming to a different conclusion as ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
The most memorable part of this book is the boldness of the colorful mice against the field of black, and the way each mouse’s imaginings about the elephant match his color. This book is a great tool for teaching kids the dangers of jumping to conclusions or making snap judgments. It might also make an interesting companion for a science lesson about making hypotheses and testing them out.

Read at Tales for Fours and Fives on 7/7/11: http://storytimesecrets.blogspot.com/...
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed these simple illustrations and this exploration of how seven blind mice would describe an elephant.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I borrowed this book as part of an audio CD/paperback kit from our local library. The book is very short, with minimal text in a big font and bold, textured illustrations. It's a retelling of a classic Indian fable, using colorful blind mice in place of the blind men.

The audio CD is very short, but I enjoyed the narration by B.D. Wong and music by Ernest V. Troost. The audio CD has an ISBN 0439027780.

This book was selected as one of the books for the November 2016- Caldecott Honor discussion at
Sarah Sammis
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The last few months, Sean has been raving about Seven Blind Mice and how much he likes the different ways the mice "saw" the elephant. Recently he borrowed it from school to read it to me and I enjoyed it too.

Seven Blind Mice retells the story of the three blind men who mistake an elephant for a tree, a snake and a rope. There are apparently numerous versions of the story throughout history as it's a perfect way to explain the danger of misconceptions. Ed Young's version seems to follow most clo
Susan Mortimer
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 2-7
Shelves: lis-565
The winner of the 1992 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for the picture book category (and the 1993 Caldecott Honor choice) Young’s re-telling of an ancient Indian tale is as captivatingly told as it is illustrated. This is the story of seven blind mice who encounter an elephant; each one attempting to describe the elephant based on the one part of him that they examine. Six of them describe the whole of the elephant based on incomplete examination, while the seventh mouse wisely puts all the parts ...more
R. C.
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The three-year-old wanted this one over and over and over. We seriously read it six times in a row at one sitting. She caught that it was a fable and needed to talk about that. I'm all for super-accessible morality tales and I seriously doubt any kid is going to catch any subconscious racism about the colorful mice being wrong and the white mouse having the whole picture. Anyway, white is symbolic of things besides caucasians. I put it in the context of wise fools for my bigger kids, and as such ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This is an important tale...about perspective and seeing not just a part but the whole in order to reach understanding and wisdom. The illustrations are wonderful. On several pages, the collage elements have such depth that it appeared they were lift the flap elements (they aren't but on one of the pages, we had to touch it just to be sure...they seem to rise off the page.). Wonderful!!

So many possible teaching points: colors, days of the week, ordinal numbers, similes, perspective/point of view
1) Wise and fun:
The Mouse Moral:
Knowing in part may make a fine tale,
but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.

2) Educational: teaches numbers, colors and days of the week.

3) Beautifully illustrated:

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
I can't believe I missed reading this one for so long! This would be a fun book to pair with "They all saw a cat" if you want to discuss perspective and point of view.

I read this to my 6 year old and then we started right back at the beginning and read it again. It's one of those books that puts a really big idea into a little picture book.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and so do the kids. Great book to find patterns in and talk about colors. It also has a really good message, which I love to hear what kids come up with for it. Definitely a book to have on my shelf in the classroom.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
The last sentence says it all:

Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.
Sammi Kelly
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Color unit
Guessing game
open ended question
Jennifer B.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lovely moral tale with minimalist illustrations that work perfectly.
Maren Swallow
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book on PERSPECTIVE. The mice are trying to figure out what the weird shape is by the pond and they all see it as something different.
Taylar Sizemore
This book would be ideal to read to students who are beginning to learn about observations and inferences in science class. This would be great for grades 1&2. But can be used for other grades with supplemental activities.
Jessica Poirot
Mar 18, 2022 rated it really liked it
This modern picture book may lack some color, but this piece of folklore by Ed Young is great. The plot is the story of 7 blind mice who investigate what a mysterious creature is by the lake. The Caldecott Award-winning illustrations tell the story in a way that is unique. They show what each mouse imagines and what they are really looking at. There is no emphasis on the setting because the mice cannot see. This book is one you need to add to your collection.
Jessica Burtness
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caldecott
The art in this book is simplistic, yet phenomenal and very memorable. Young uses simple lines and silhouettes of the mice and the objects, which appear to be made in almost a collage from cut out paper layered over a black backdrop. Young's use of bold colors catches the eye of the reader and makes it easy to associate what is happening in the image with what the story is saying. With each mouse's new discovery of what they believe the "Something" to be, we can see all of the other colors of m ...more
Susanna Lowy
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely enjoyable to read because of the fantastic colors and concept. That is why I gave this book five stars. This book is age appropriate for preschoolers because there is minimal text so they can focus on the colors and shapes of the book. There is seamlessness to this book where the illustrations and the text work together. This book is about seven mice that are all different colors and they find something strange and each tries to figure out what it is. Everyday a different ...more
Bailee Coots
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exam-2
I found this book to be quite humorous. From the back and forth of the mice trying to figure out what the object was, and how each one came back to say something different, got me laughing at one point. I found the artwork in the book to be intriguing. It made me focus on the mice and what they were feeling around for. The black back drop on each page I think helped this story in a positive way. It makes all the other colors really pop. With all that being said, I do think this book is appropria ...more
Ms. Argueta
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sandra C Argueta
February 19, 2016
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

You will be delighted by this story based on the ancient Chinese fable The Blind Men and the Elephant. Not only are the paper collage illustrations bright and appealing, but the story will introduce young readers to some important interdisciplinary skills: the days of the week, colors, perception and sequential order as it tells the wonderful story. All the mice are intrigued by this strange structure that has appeared by their
Alexis Loos
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Seven Blind Mice is a classic folklore story about seven mice. This story is also a Caldecott award winner. I think this is a great book for a read aloud to young students. It has some great themes that make it worth reading. In the resolution of the story, it states that the “mouse moral” is that wisdom comes in seeing the larger picture. I think that is great for young kids! I think another theme that you could pull is that teamwork makes the dreamwork. This book could be very versatile, so I ...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. 90s Children's Picture book about dark rooms, flashlights, and finding an elephant? [s] 3 9 Jun 14, 2022 12:06PM  
Exam 1 1 1 Oct 22, 2018 09:52AM  
Mini Lesson 1 Point of View 1 2 Sep 24, 2017 08:47AM  
Mini Lesson 1 Point of View 1 1 Sep 24, 2017 08:44AM  
. 1 4 Feb 20, 2015 04:31PM  

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Ed Young is the illustrator of more than eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. Among his books is the Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po, which he both wrote and illustrated. He says that his work is inspired by the philosophy of Chinese painting. He lives in Westchester County, New York.

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