PPBF! Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk

Before I get to Perfect Picture Book Friday, I have a question I was hoping someone could help me with. I am reading an excellent book called “In Mozart’s Shadow” by Carolyn Meyer about Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna. In the book Wolfgang is called Wolferl, Maria Anna is called Nannerl, a girl named Barbara is called Waberl and there is also a Katherl and other -erls. My question is what’s with all the -erls in the names and why are some names changed so much? I think it is a German language thing, but maybe not. I thought maybe someone out there might know (especially really talented German-speaking illustrators that may be reading this… you know who you are ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Enough of that! Now it’s time for PPBF!!! YAY!!!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of โ€œperfectโ€ picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it encourages kids to become authors/writers.

librarymouseLibrary Mouse

By Daniel Kirk

32 Pages – Ages 4+

Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers on September 1, 2007

Theme/Topicย โ€“ Reading and writing

Opening and Synopsis โ€“

“Sam was a library mouse. His home was in a little hole in the wall behind the children’s reference books, and he thought that life was very good indeed.”

Sam was very happy living in the library. He had all kinds of books to read every night when the library was quiet. Sam decided that he should write a book of his own and he wrote “Squeak! A Mouse’s Life” and put it on the shelf in the autobiography section of the library. His book was a huge hit with the kids at the library. In fact, Sam decided to write more books. Soon after, all the kids at the library want to meet the author of the great books mysteriously showing up at the library! Sam couldn’t let them know it was a mouse doing the writing and he hatches a plan to show every kid that they can be the author!

Why Iย liked this book โ€“ย  This is a very cute book about how anyone can be an author. I love that kind of positive message! Sam is a very clever mouse.ย  He has a lot of common sense and a great imagination (and he loves books).ย  I like that in the illustrations we see Sam as dressed up like the characters of the book he just wrote. Like in his delivery of his mystery, he is dressed like a detective. It is a great book that encourages kids to use their imaginations and write their own stories!

Activities and Resources โ€“

Mr. Kirk has a ton of great activities at his website including a make your own story activity! I think it would be a great activity to have kids write and illustrate their own little book. Click HERE to go to Mr. Kirk’s activity page.

Visit a library and explore like Sam (just not at night, ’cause that may get you into trouble). Talk to your kids about the different books Sam wrote, (autobiography, mystery and a picture book). Talk about what makes the books different from each other and ask what type of book your kid would like to write.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hillโ€™s blogย  HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9

Tags: , , , , , , ,

66 replies

  1. Sounds good to me, Erik. P.s. My German friend is coming to visit this evening and she is a musician. I will ask her if she knows anything about why the names are like that.

  2. I love books about becoming a writer. Library Mouse sounds like a fun twist!

  3. I’m hoping Julie Zoch will chile in Erik, because while I do speak German, I have never heard this, though I am guessing it is an AUSTRIAN diminutive.

    I like how the book is much more than just about Sam, but about encouraging others to write.

  4. I ADORE this book. Read it last year – and loved the surprise ending. Especially liked the tiny books the mouse wrote and put on the shelves. Erik, I think the ‘erl’ is like a nickname, for instance, where we would call the dad ‘Bob’ and the child, Bobbie. Grandpa is Jack, his grandson is Jackie. My name is Laura, but when I was little it was Laurie – until I told everyone I wasn’t little anymore. Now only my aunt can call me that. I looked up the proper term and it’s referred to as the ‘diminuitive’ pronoun or ‘nickname’. Apparently the ‘erl’ was used in Austrian-Bavaria. I learned something from you today!!

  5. I love this book, Erik! It think the message that anyone can be an author is very inspiring! Thanks for adding this one to our list!

  6. What a unique idea for a book. A cute little mouse writing stories and encouraging children to write. And, thanks to Joanna Laura for coming up with an explanation for “erl.” Always fun to learn something new.

  7. I love the sound of this, Erik! It’s like a little adventure that kids can go along with with the mouse, awesome!

  8. what a clever book and clever mouse. Love to read something about kids being writers…. yay! Funny you should mention about the erl”s as some of my Austrian friends use that. (I belong to an Austrian dance group)

  9. Great message, Erik! Anyone can write a story. Move over, Mom. It’s my turn!

    Love and licks,

  10. Library Mouse is super-cute! And I, of course, am partial to mice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks, Erik!

  11. Joanna is right, it’s an Austrian thing, but you hear it in southern Germany too. It’s like adding -y or -ie to a name to make it huggable and cute, like William can be Willy/Billy, or Robert becomes Robby/Bobby, and Olivia might become Livvy. But in Austria, they add erl, and farther north they add -chen, so my name might be Julchen (pronounced yool-chen, the ch being very soft, kind of like a cat hissing!). I recently saw a film about Nannerl, too – hope you enjoy the book! I like the one “Danerl’ created too – good pick!

  12. This looks like a fun one, Erik! Great review.

  13. This sounds like a good one. A mouse who writes books, quite unique!

  14. Abrams always has such a great list. This looks like a winner. I love the idea of a library mouse writing stories.

  15. Good review Erikerl! Love how you found out what the erl is all about. I look forwrad to the review of In Mozartโ€™s Shadow

  16. What a cute book! My daughter had pet mice when she was little. They had personalities. One was an escape artist! We read many stories about mice in those days. In fact, her second grade young authors book featured them.

    I’m glad someone else knew about the erls, because that was new to me. Ya learn something everyday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Sounds like a great book, Erik. I love stories that encourage people to dream and to work for what they want. (So sorry I don’t know anything about the -erl names. Hope you find the answer soon!)

    Also, I’m starting a blog button collection on my website, and would love to add your button (if it’s okay with you, of course). If you’re keen, please let me know:


    Thanks and have a good weekend!

  18. This book sounds adorable and inspirational. I love the cover and your review was excellent.

    I hope someone was able to help you with your German question! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Looks like a fun book. I will have to see if our school library has it – because it should!

  20. Erik…this is a great book! What a super review you always write.:) Thanks for sharing it with us.

  21. Another fun book about the library! I like the fact that it encourages kids to read AND write. Good one, Erik!

  22. Hi Erik, this story actually reminded me of two books that I have just recently read and reviewed: The Saga of Shakespeare Pintlewood and the Great Silver Fountain Pen by James Lehman and Chris Raschka which essentially talks about a literary ant – very similar to your scholarly/writer-mouse here. It also reminded me of the wordless book The Story of a Little Mouse Trapped in a Book. Had I known about this book previously, it would have been a perfect addition to our books-about-books theme. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing this.

  23. What a great message. I’ve read the real-life story about Dewey the Library cat – he didn’t write, but inspired people. I’m hoping over to the author/illustrator’s site. Thanks for sharing this title.


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