Mouse Says Sorry. Michael Dahl. Illustrations by Oriol Vidal. 2012. Picture Window Books. 20 pages.
“Mouse Says Sorry” by Michael Dahl follows a very panicked mouse who is rushing home to eat his dinner and causing all sorts of mayhem along the way. Despite the chaos Mouse is a very sympathetic character, not least because of his repentant expression throughout and his repeated apologies. He splatters mud everywhere, destroys a painting and sends a pile of nuts flying but his most heartfelt apology is to his mother for being late as he explains that he rushed home for dinner as fast as he could.
The illustrations, by Oriol Vidal, are bold with bright plain backgrounds ensuring the focus remains squarely on the characters that Mouse disrupts on his frantic but remorseful journey home. At the start of the book Mouse accidentally runs through a muddy puddle and leaves footprints across the pages making it easy for young readers to literally see Mouse’s trail of destruction and gives a real sense of motion.
ThisBoy absolutely hates being dirty and so he struggled to see past poor Mouse’s muddy paws. Despite this, he quickly got caught up with the repetition of Mouse’s apologies and within the first reading started saying “Sorry!” along with him. It only took reading the book a few more times throughout the week before ThisBoy was able to consistently apologise to his friends at nursery when asked. Now that he understands the concept, it’s too short to be properly enjoyed as a bedtime story but he does like to pull it out and look through the pages himself.
About the Author
Michael Dahl has written more than 200 books for children and young adults and won numerous awards, including the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award three times for his nonfiction, a Teacher’s Choice award from Learning magazine and a Seal of Excellence from the Creative Child Awards.
Mum’s score: 3 out of 5
The bold colours and simple language make this book a useful tool to discuss what Mouse has done and why he’s sorry. It’s just a little too simple for long term use.
ThisBoy’s score: 4 out of 5
The short sentences and repetition have really helped ThisBoy to understand the concept and he likes to say “sorry” along with Mouse all the way through.