135. “Welcome Home Mouse” by Elisa Kleven


My mom used to complain that my brothers never helped her with the household chores. Well, she never really let them do anything. And if she did, she yelled at them for not doing it the right way. My mother in law was one step ahead of my mom. She never asked for help of anyone because she knew they would never do anything as well as she would. Well, I decided to engage my son in our daily life and chores because I think that children naturally want to help. I go grocery shopping with my son and he often helps to load the cart. We happen to have more cheese than we need, but so what? We also make pancakes together, and even if the batter is a bit over-stirred, they still taste delicious. Yesterday my son “helped” my husband assemble a little table and we just couldn’t believe how our son enjoyed  being a part of the project team.

Stanley the elephant wanted to help his mom to make pizza. Unfortunately, he spilled tomato sauce and his mom sent him grocery shopping for more tomatoes. On the way, he crashed a little mouse’s house, by accident, and as it later turned out, clumsy was his middle name. But even though he lacked a bit of grace, Stanley was an elephant with a kind heart. He didn’t leave the mouse homeless. He was good at thinking out of the box and he built her a cute little house… out of the tomato box.

I love this book for a few reasons. First of all, because it entertains my little reader with a cute story and bright pictures. Secondly, because it promotes being kind and helpful to one another. And thirdly, because it inspires readers to do fun crafts with simple things like boxes, bottle caps, post stamps etc. Seriously, as much as I love wandering around craft stores, I can’t help thinking about how redundant lots of the things are. Instead of spending dollars on children crafts, I can provide the same fun to my son using old paper, scissors and some glue. And you must know, dexterous is not my middle name at all. To give you an example: out of all his bath toys, his favorite ones are plastic bottles cut in half, that he uses as cups, boats, submarines and who knows what else.

But coming back to the book, I just want to say, enjoy reading it and let me know how it inspired you and your little helpers. maybe you created a new doll house out of a carton box?

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