I'm a huge fan of Lois Lowry's, no matter which genre she's currently choosing to write for. She always does such a nice job at creating characters and settings that I can visualize in my head and enjoy from start to finish...even when the main characters are mice!
The church mice living in Saint Bartholemew's are used to being under the leadership of the firm, yet kind, Hildegarde. She keeps things running smoothly and tries to make sure that all the mice stay out of sight, in order to prevent another "Great X." She's a little uptight, humorously so, but who wouldn't be with more than 200 church mice under her care?
When several parishioners report mouse sightings, as well as the day of the yearly Blessing of the Animals ceremony quickly approaching, Hildegarde knows that all of the mice are in trouble and drastic measures must be taken to protect their lives. All of the mice must work together to formulate a plan to prevent losing their home or any of their tribe.
A perfect story to read aloud with your family, you'll find more than a bit of humor mixed in with the sweet and sentimental plot. Moral lessons are seamlessly woven into the story and the illustrations, done by Caldecott Medalist Eric Rohman are a perfect accompaniment to the text.
There are aspects of Catholicism throughout the story, after all, it does take place in a Catholic Church, but understanding anything about that particular religion is definitely not necessary to understanding the story. It's more of a backdrop, though the mice do speak of confession and say a couple of prayers. I would not hesitate to give this to a non-religious family or one of a different faith and I would not consider it a "religious" story, but rather a cute telling of a group of mice determined to help each other.
Bless This Mouse
Review copy provided by publisher