It was a perfect summer day to slide into the old English world of a small mouse with a question mark for a tail. Richard Peck has once again taken us into another world and time. In his new book The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail he has set up a parallel world of mice and the jobs they must do to keep the Queen of England and her palace moving forward. In this world we find a mouse with no name and no future as far as he can tell.
This no name mouse, referred to as Mouse Minor due to his size, is on a quest to find out whom he is and what he should become. Peck gives us a quick adventure to follow with many twists and turns along the way. He provides us with questions just like the tail of our main character. His questions have us wondering about where we came from, where we might be going with our lives and what do all these crazy words he uses mean. He is a master at adding vocabulary to his story to push the reader in their thinking and understanding.
As a teacher this is a great tale to teach from:
- Gear towards 3 rd-5th grade but a fun read for anyone
- It is a high interest read
- It is relatively short
- A great vocabulary builder for students (a good book to read on a kindle with a dictionary just a tap away)
- A wonderful text to talk about prediction – what do you think will happen next?
- Many opportunities to develop class discussions -our main character deals with bullies, must think on his feet, stands up for himself even if he is a bit short, and ventures out on his own to find his way.
- Peck also manages to add in small bit of history about the Queen of England and the workings in the palace.
- He gives us a surprise ending
What more could you want for a read aloud, or a class read at the beginning of the school year?
This book lines up well with all the other wonderful tales that have been told. We can happily add this into the collection of mouse tales – The Tale of Despereaux, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Bless this Mouse, and many more.
Thanks Richard for another great read!