Once a Mouse...

Once a Mouse...

by Marcia Brown


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Marcia Brown retells an Indian fable from the Hitopadesa in this Caldecott Medal–winning tale of a mouse who becomes a tiger.

When a small mouse’s life is threatened by large jungle predators, a kindly hermit uses magic to change him into a cat, a dog, and a majestic tiger. But the proud tiger must suffer the consequences when he becomes ungrateful and forgets his humble origins. Marcia Brown’s magical woodcuts bring this Indian fable to life with the mastery that won her a second Caldecott Medal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689713439
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 09/30/1989
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 324,755
Product dimensions: 8.75(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile: AD530L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Marcia Brown, one of the most honored illustrators in children's literature, is a three-time Caldecott Medalist and six-time Caldecott Honor illustrator, as well as winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for the body of her work. She lives in Laguna Hills, California.

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Once a Mouse... 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is good about telling how to be happy with whom you are. This book is about a mouse that is taken in by a hermit and turned into other animals to protect it. However, it turns arrogant and the hermit turns him back into a mouse and tell him that he is the one who changed him from a mouse to a lion and can change him back, to go into the woods and live as a mouse. To teach the mouse a lesson about being happy with him, and what others do for you. Brown, Marcia. Once A Mouse. New York: Charles Scribner¿s Son, 1961.
jaykay2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: This book is about a hermit who finds a mouse about to be snatched up by a crow. He saves the mouse. Whenever the mouse was in harm, the hermit changed the mouse into another animal to defend himself. After this goes on for awhile, the mouse is turned into a huge, royal tiger.The tiger then tries to kill a peacock when the hermit stops him and tells him he would be nothing if he the hermit haven't had turned him into a tiger. The tiger was ungrateful and was sent into the forest to be turned back into a mouse and was never seen again. Personal reaction:This book has a moral which is to never bite the hand that feeds you. The tiger didn't appreciate everything the hermit did for him and was then sent back because the hermit no longer wanted to help him. I enjoy this book because of the moral it teaches.Extension ideas:I would have the children point out the moral and write about how the tiger should of reacted to the hermit. I would have the children make up their own story with the same moral.
mmuncy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A hermit saves a mouse from a crow and takes him to the hermit's hut. When a cat tries to get the mouse, the hermit turns the mouse into a cat. Then a dog frightens the cat and the hermit turns the cat into a dog. A tiger then tries to get the dog , so he turns the doy into a beautiful tiger. The tiger thinks he is really something so the hermit chides him. The tiger decides he doesn't like the hermit scolding him and so he will kill the hermit. The hermit can tell what the tiger is thinking and so turns the tiger into a mouse.I like this. The illustrations were cut in wood and so were different from many I have read.I would have the students try to figure out the moral of the story. This would be a good book to introduce that concept.
tiburon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An ancient tale that originated in India about a mouse who is rescued by a kind and magical hermit who changes the animal from a mouse to a cat to a dog to a tiger, then back to a mouse when he gets "too big for his britches." Retold and illustrated in woodblock by Marcia Brown.
jcole7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is a story from ancient India. the story is about a tiny mouse that befriends a hermit who could do magic.The hermit protects the mouse from predators by turning him into a larger animal that his predator. The mouse is eventually turned into a tiger and becomes to cocky and ungrateful of what the hermit has done for him. The hermit turns him back into a mouse and the mouse learns his lesson.This book has a good moral. I enjoy books that teach a life lesson.One classroom extension idea is that if I notice students in my class "putting on airs" or constantly bragging. I could read them this story to teach them it isn't ok to do that to their fellow peers. Also the story could be used to teach the difference between prey and predators.
juju1220 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A hermit uses his magic to transform a weak mouse into a variety of other powerful animals until he finally turns it into a huge powerful tiger.After the hermit realizes that the tiger is using his power to overcome other animals in the forest and that he plans to murder the hermit he changes him back into the small mouse. Simple basic illustration used to demonstrate this tale. Woodcuts are used to display the artwork in this book. Great for all ages of students. Caldecott winner
suzecate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Mouse won the 1961 Caldecott medal (awarded for art in picture books), and with its innovative wood cuts, it's easy to see why. The wood-cut art is well-suited to the Indian fable it decorates.The fable follows an old hermit in the forest who one day saves a mouse from being a crow's prey. Now the mouse's protector, the hermit magically transforms the mouse into larger and larger creatures to avoid threats from other animals. Once a tiger, the former mouse forgets his humble origins and grows arrogant and himself threatening. There's a moral to the fable, of course, but children need not be old enough to understand it to appreciate this story of transformation. (ages 2-6)
jkessluk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The art of wood cutting in this book is fantastic and really has a good way at showing the characters expressions. Unlike a lot of books to young readers, the moral is not straigt forward and for an assignment for young children it would be good to see if they get the concept of greed and making sure your thankful for what you have. The hermit saves a mouse and uses his magic to change the mouse into larger animals as predators keep coming for it. Eventually the mouse because a lion and wants to take revenge on the hermit.
KristinSpecht on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ELL can tell what's going on in the story w/out reading it. You could use this to teach them about pride and the effects of changing the natural order of life. Contrasting emotions can also be seen as he doesn't know what he should do with the mouse.You can teach your students to give hints at the beginning of the book by a phrase that you can use again at the end of the story like starting and finishing with the phrase, "He sat their thinking about big and little..." You can teach them how to use font and font size to change the initial letter along with color changes to make the font interesting.
EricaRodriguez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once a Mouse¿A Fable Cut in Wood, is an interpretation of a Hitopadesha tale from India. Hitopedasha tales were originally written down in Sanskrit at around 1200 C. E. and originated in India from an unknown author. The story is of a hermit who is contemplating about big and small things, when he is interrupted by the scurrying of a small mouse next to him. The mouse is almost eaten by a crow that swoops down to grab him, but the hermit intervenes and rescues the mouse. After the crow, the mouse encounters other animals who are all larger and attempt to eat him. The Hermit prevents this from happening by magically changing the mouse into a larger and larger animal. Once the mouse is the largest animal in the jungle, a royal tiger, he becomes pompous and lords over the other animals in the jungle. The hermit then advises the Tiger to not act in that manner because at one time he was merely a humble mouse. The Tiger feeling humiliated decides to eat the humble hermit, but the hermit reads his mind and changes him back into a little mouse before he can cause any harm. The mouse scurries back into the forest and disappears and the hermit sits down and begins to think about big and small things again. The book shows the cultural significance of religious men (hermits) in Indian culture as wise and powerful men. This story could be used in story time to help show both Indian cultural stories and art work; as well as, the moral that there will always be someone who is bigger or better than you. A person should be humble with the gifts they are given.
missmichelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Genre: This book is a great example of a folktake because it is a old fable taken from ancient India that has been retold for generations. In this folktale a hermit takes care of mouse and using his magic turns him into a tiger to protect himself. This story ends with a great lesson about coming to humility. Characterization: This story has very flat characters mainly because the story was taken from oral tradition and the details have to be simple so they would not be lost during the retelling of the story. The main character is the hermit, who the reader finds to be very humble and who meditates on the things in this world that are big and small. The hermit stays static throughout the story as he uses his magic to change the mouse into something bigger only finding that the tiger needed to become humble again as a mouse.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
Beautiful to look at, thought - provoking to read, this is a book for all ages. The brief, to the point text makes this a good book for reading aloud to groups or to individual children.  I have read it many times to groups in a public library setting and it always held the children's attention.
HMatthew More than 1 year ago
Once A Mouse is a phenomenally illustrated picture book that tells an old indian fable. It is about a tiny little mouse who is turned into other animals by a hermit in order to keep it protected. The hermit turns the mouse into a beautiful lion but he is not grateful so the hermit turns him back, teaching him a lesson. These woodcut illustrations are breathtaking and the use of only a few simple colors highlight the storyline. Brown is one of the most famous children's illustrators. Her work has received three Caldecott Medal as well as six Caldecott Honor Illustrator. This book is a great conversation stater amongst younger kids. If you dig dee[ this book contains rich meaning about life, and good morals. I would recommend this book as a gateway for in-depth discussions in class. The book ends exactly how it began with the hermit contemplating "big and little....."
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion this book won the medal on the detail of the pictures rather than on the colors used. The pictures are very detailed. They show animals which children love. I found the colors to be dull and boring. There was no pop. The dullness actually took away from the story in my opinion. The story is about a mouse that is taken in by a hermit and changed into other animals in order to protect itself from predators. The mouse becomes so arrogant and abusive to others, that the old hermit turns him back to a mouse to teach him a lesson. Brown was used to teaching lessons having been a high school teacher for three years in New York. She had wanted to be a doctor but coming from a family financially unable to send her to medical school she instead became a teacher. After three years of teaching she quit to pursue her dream of writing and illustrating children¿s books. She became the first person ever to have won the Caldecott three times. She is joined in this honor by only one other person, David Wiesner. Brown, Marcia. Once A Mouse. New York. Charles Scribner¿s Son, 1961. Reading Level 3.2
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book illustrates the importance of being happy with who you are, and the importance of being grateful. The animal in this book was unhappy with himself and kept changing himself into different types of animals looking for satisfaction. He went from a mouse to a tiger, soon forgetting who he really was at heart and becoming very ungrateful for what the hermit had done for him. This is shown in the following excerpt: ¿You are ungrateful! Go back to the forest and be a mouse again.¿ The age range for this particular reading is 5 to 8 years old. This book is good for the imagination and self-esteem of the child. I really enjoyed it. This book was written by Marcia Brown, who began writing and illustrating books several years after she graduated from New York State University in 1940. Marcia was born in 1918 and is still living today. Brown, Marcia. Once A Mouse¿ New York: Charles Scribner¿s Sons, 1961.