This is adapted from a list I made for several specific families at our library in 2018. They liked cozy, old-fashioned stories, the readers are young but very fluent and eager readers, and the parents are looking for stories with limited or no fantasy elements, no frightening adventures, and an emphasis on family.
- Heartwood Hotel by Kallie George
- This new series is already a firm favorite. It's the story of Mona the mouse, who, having been orphaned and lost in the woods, finds a new home and family at the Heartwood Hotel. I love that she works as a maid and her life doesn't magically become easy and comfortable. The descriptions of tiny details and food are lovely too.
- Tumtum and Nutmeg by Emily Bearn
- This British series features a mouse couple and their adventures in the woods and in various houses. The one drawback is that the individual titles aren't available in the US, you have to purchase big collections of 3 stories at a time. However, for eager readers this is not a hardship!
- Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
- Most people are at least vaguely familiar with this classic, but fewer realize there's actually seven books in the series! Availability can be an issue here and my library only owns the first title, but we have a lot of small libraries in our consortium and I've been able to find all of them.
- Poppy and Friends by Avi
- There's a little more peril in this series, with a tyrannical owl who is eventually killed, but kids who are ready for some more adventure will enjoy it.
- Miss Bianca by Margery Sharp
- If you're only familiar with the Disney movies, these are very different! Miss Bianca is an elegant mouse who belongs to a diplomat's son and writes 18th century verse. She, Bernard, and a third mouse venture to the Black Castle in their first adventure to rescue a Norwegian poet. Her adventures are sometimes macabre and one, involving evil dolls, is rather frightening. The villains are also quite Dickensian. However, they are beautifully written and exquisite gems. The first title, The Rescuers, has been reprinted but you'll have to hunt for the others.
- The Great Mouse Detective by Eve Titus
- This is another adapted Disney movie, but there is actually a whole series of charming stories about a mouse who, taking after Sherlock Holmes (he is Basil of Baker Street after all) solves a variety of mysteries. Aladdin recently republished them and they are now widely available again.
- Henry Cole
- Although better known as an illustrator, he has written several chapter books featuring small animals. These tend to be cozy stories with a philosophical bent. They don't fly off the shelves, due to a combination of the quieter plots and length, but they're perfect for this specific reader's advisory request.
- Somewhat true adventures of Sammy Shine
- Nest for Celeste
- Robert Lawson
- This is an older author and many of his books are out of print. There are also several instances of troubling racist depictions in some of his more famous titles. However, I prefer to mention these and let parents discuss them with their children. He had a series of historical fiction featuring animals around the time of the American Revolution and some of them are still in print. He has many other titles that are out of print.
- Rabbit Hill; Tough Winter
- Ben and Me; Mr. Revere and I
- Adventures of Henry Whiskers by Gigi Priebe
- Song of the Christmas Mouse by Shirley Murphy
- Out of print.
- Christopher mouse by William Wise
- Mousewife by Rumer Godden
- Abel's Island by William Steig
- Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
- Evergreen Wood by Alan Perry
- This is a retelling of Pilgrim's Progress with mice. It's out of print and not very easy to find, although it is inexpensive online.
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