Charlie Muffin’s Miracle Mouse
by Dick King-Smith
Premise: Charlie Muffin isn’t your average farmer. He raises mice in the shed behind his house—Muffin’s High Class Mice. This bachelor breeds mice of every coat and color, and he’s also an inventor and a taxidermist. His nice, orderly routine is thrown for a loop the day Merry Day becomes a customer. He laughs off her challenge to breed a green mouse. Impossible, right? But “there’s no such word in the dictionary as can’t,” and Mr. Muffin soon has his heart set on succeeding.
“As well as being a mouse farmer, Mr. Muffin
was a very clever do-it-yourself man who
understood all about electrical and mechanical
gadgets and gizmos of every kind.”
Personal Opinion: I must confess, by then end of the first chapter, I couldn’t decide whether to be amused or horrified. Mr. Muffin is a lonely man whose home is largely populated by relics of his taxidermy practice. Sensitive children may not take kindly to the idea of stuffing one’s dead pets to keep them around. However, Merry Day quickly brightens the mood. Her cheerful manner, practical suggestions, and unfailing support are exactly what Mr. Muffin needs.
Perks: The story is illustrated by Lina Chesak. Young readers will learn a little about mouse breeds and breeding along the way.
Rating: An engaging story that makes the most of old sayings like, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and “faint heart never won fair lady.” I’ll give Charlie Muffin’s Miracle Mouse seven stars (7 ★).
Note: Dick King-Smith is most famous for a book called The Sheep-Pig (later called Babe, the Gallant Pig), which was the basis for the film Babe (1995). A lengthy list of his stories can be found on his Wiki page >>