PPBF! Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk

25 Jan

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 πŸ˜‰ ).

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 β€œperfect” 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/Topic – Reading and writing

Opening and Synopsis –

“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 IΒ liked this book –  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.Β  He has a lot of common sense and a great imagination (and he loves books).Β  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 –

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 Hill’s blogΒ  HERE!

66 Responses to “PPBF! Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk”

  1. ontheplumtree January 25, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    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.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 25, 2013 at 7:19 am #

      PLEASE ask the German friend (bonus points: Ask the German friend… In GERMAN!!! πŸ˜‰ )! Thanks!


  2. laura516 January 25, 2013 at 7:44 am #

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


  3. Joanna January 25, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    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.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 26, 2013 at 8:59 am #

      This is a great book Miss Marple! It is VERY cool that you speak English, French and German! Do you speak more languages? πŸ˜‰


      • Joanna January 26, 2013 at 10:25 am #

        Yes, I have been lucky enough to learn Dutch, Spanish and Italian, Erik, as I have lived in several nations.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 28, 2013 at 7:30 am #



  4. Laura Anne Miller January 25, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    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. Susanna Leonard Hill January 25, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    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. Patricia Tilton January 25, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    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. Catherine Johnson January 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

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


  8. patientdreamer January 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    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. Genevieve Petrillo January 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

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

    Love and licks,


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 26, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Thanks! I have an idea for a comic… What type of dog are you? Jack Russel Terrier? πŸ™‚


      • Genevieve Petrillo January 26, 2013 at 11:41 am #

        Jack Russell Terrier mixed with something else. Maybe beagle. Mom thinks maybe monkey because of my long monkey tail.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 28, 2013 at 7:30 am #



  10. Amy D January 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Library Mouse is super-cute! And I, of course, am partial to mice πŸ™‚

    Thanks, Erik!


  11. julie rowan zoch January 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    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!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 26, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      I do remember seeing a “Hanchen” in it (I finished it this morning)… Would “Johann” be pronounced “Yo-hon” or similar?


      • julie rowan zoch January 26, 2013 at 11:41 am #

        Yo – hahn. Erik would be very similar, but the e sounds more like the a in ace, and you have to roll the r back in the throat a little!


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 28, 2013 at 7:32 am #

        I thought so, just didn’t know how to write it. So my name would be pronounced “Ay-rrrik”?


      • julie rowan zoch January 28, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        Ja! (pronounced yah). And Josie – in German it would sound like yo-zee, though some might go softer with the z! Because mine is pronunced yoo-lee, and that is the German word for the month of July, one fellow used to tease me, calling me August – ow-ghoost!


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

        Thanks August! πŸ˜‰ But what about June? Yoon? And January???


      • julie rowan zoch January 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

        Yoo-nee and Yahn-you-ahr


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

        Thanks! πŸ˜€


  12. Carrie Finison January 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

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


  13. Janet Smart January 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

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


  14. Kirsten Larson January 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

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


  15. Darlene January 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

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


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 26, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      Thanks Frau Foster! πŸ˜‰ I finished the book this morning! πŸ˜€


      • Darlene January 31, 2013 at 12:43 am #

        I love being called Frau Foster. My grandparents were German and thye spoke German to us when we were small. Unfortunately I don’t remember much German anymore.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 31, 2013 at 6:57 am #

        Well… I think they would have called you Fraulein Darlene/Foster (excuse the use of your 1st name)… Your friend, Herr Erik (pron. Ay-rrik – Thanks Ms. Zoch!)


  16. Michelle Isenhoff January 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    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. πŸ™‚


  17. Claudine Gueh January 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    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!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 26, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      This is a great book Ms. Gueh! I’ll ask my Mom about the button because I’m not sure I have a button πŸ™‚


  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! πŸ™‚


  19. Sandi Purdell-Lewis January 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

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


  20. viviankirkfield January 28, 2013 at 2:21 am #

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


  21. Jarm Del Boccio January 28, 2013 at 10:01 am #

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


  22. Myra GB January 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    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. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this.


  23. Stacy S. Jensen February 1, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    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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