Beverly Cleary is a prolific author and the book bunnies have read many of her books through the years. Last year, Marshmallow reviewed Beezus and Ramona, the first book by Cleary featuring one of her signature characters, Ramona Quimby. Today Caramel picks up the mantle and reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle, written in 1965, the first book featuring Ralph S. Mouse. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: So this week we are talking about a chapter book. This book has been sitting in your room for a while now. What made you decide to finally pick it up?
Caramel: Hmm, I don’t actually know. I just thought about reading it. I picked it up when I was sent to clean up my room.
S: Hmm, that worked out well, I suppose. So what do you want to tell us about it?
C: It has 186 pages, and then there are some extras. There is a note from Beverly Cleary. Then “Ralph answers some questions”, then “Ralph thanks the readers”, and then there is a section called “About the pictures in this book”.
S: Those sound interesting. But who is Ralph? I think we first need to clarify that.
C: Ralph is a mouse who lives in a knot hole in a hotel room, at the Mountain View Inn.
S: And that is supposedly in California, right?
C: I think so.
S: So what happens to Ralph? I’m guessing that he is the mouse in the title. Is that right?
C: Yes. He meets this boy named Keith. Keith has a toy sedan and a sports car, and an ambulance.
S: Does he also have a toy motorcycle?
C: Yes he does. And one day, Ralph tries to ride the motorcycle and falls in a waste bin.
S: That must be scary for him!
C: Yes it is.
S: Is that how he meets Keith?
C: Yes, and then they become friends. Apparently Ralph can talk, and Keith can understand him.
S: After all, this is fiction. We have seen talking animals before, right?
C: Yes, for example Babymouse talks!
S: And Verdi is a talking snake.
C: And we are talking animals!
S: That is true! We have discussed many other books where there are creatures that talk that are usually not expected to talk, at least to humans.
S: I liked reading this book, but if people want to watch instead, there is a movie of it apparently. Here it is:
C: I like this book a lot too! And I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.
S: So there are two more books with Ralph in them?
S: I think I have not read those. Maybe you will review them for our blog some time.
C: I will.
S: Okay Caramel, so it is time to wrap this up. Let us finish by rating it in three words. What three words would you use to describe the book?
C: Adventurous, imagination, funny.
S: I like those words! I think I could add: “sweet”, “unexpected”, and “friendship”.
C: I like those too.
S: Great! So let us wrap things up! What do you say?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!