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Cover image for Motor Mouse
Motor Mouse
Uniform Title:
Short stories. Selections
First edition.
New York : Beach Lane Books, [2019]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
The Friday Cake Day -- Going for a look-about -- Front row at the picture show.
Follows a busy mouse as he drives a delivery car, enjoys Cake Day with friends, goes for a cab ride around town, and shares popcorn with his brother at the movies.


Call Number
JP Rylant
JP Rylant
+ Rylant

On Order



Join Motor Mouse on three hilarious adventures in this irresistible start to a brand-new series from the creators of Gooseberry Park and the Mr. Putter and Tabby books!

Motor Mouse is a busy little mouse, between driving his delivery car, eating cake, and visiting with friends. Come along with him on his adventures!

In "The Friday Cake Day," Motor Mouse and his friend Telly have been looking forward all week to their Friday tradition of eating cake. But when Friday arrives, the Cake Shop is closed. This is not acceptable! Could a friendly hedgehog help them with their predicament?

In "Going For a Look-About," Motor Mouse decides that instead of driving, he'd like to go for a look-about as a passenger instead. So he hires a cab to take him to places that bring back good memories of old friends. But is a brand-new friend right in front of him?

In "Front Row at the Picture Show," Motor Mouse and his brother, Vincent, are going to a movie. Vincent always insists on getting a large bucket of popcorn to share, since it's a better deal than two small buckets. But he always hogs it! What is Motor Mouse to do?

This sweet and funny trio of stories is sure to have young readers wanting to visit with Motor Mouse again and again.

Author Notes

Cynthia Rylant was born on June 6, 1954 in Hopewell, Virginia. She attended and received degrees at Morris Harvey College, Marshall University, and Kent State University.

Rylant worked as an English professor and at the children's department of a public library, where she first discovered her love of children's literature.

She has written more than 100 children's books in English and Spanish, including works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her novel Missing May won the 1993 Newbery Medal and A Fine White Dust was a 1987 Newbery Honor book. Rylant wrote A Kindness, Soda Jerk, and A Couple of Kooks and Other Stories, which were named as Best Book for Young Adults. When I was Young in the Mountains and The Relatives Came won the Caldecott Award.

She has many popular picture books series, including Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter and Tabby and High-Rise Private Eyes. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Rylant continues to create worlds of intriguing characters and fun adventures in this first title of her new series. This book contains three separate tales, each following the star character Motor Mouse and some of his friends. In the first, Motor Mouse and his friend Terry learn to try new things when the cake shop closes on Cake Friday. The second entry has Motor Mouse take a taxi to see old sights and make some new friends. In the third story, Motor Mouse and his brother Valentino must figure out how to share a large bucket of popcorn at the movies without hogging all the delicious treat. The plots are simple to follow and well paced for younger readers, the characters are enjoyable, and the life lessons are brilliantly simplified and understandable. The illustrations help to establish the personalities and the world of Motor Mouse through their lovable cartoon style. They also help to show the plot of each story, which is great for beginning readers who are still learning to read. The vocabulary is also simple and easy to understand. -VERDICT This enticing series starter for early readers teaches flexibility, friendship, and compromise.-Margaret Kennelly, iSchool at Urbana-Champaign, IL © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Given the title, readers may expect to meet a mouse who's crazy about cars and always zooming about. But while Motor Mouse does have a little red car and drives it "here and there, making deliveries," neither car nor service are central to the book's three emotionally rich short stories. In the first, a hedgehog helps Motor Mouse and his cake-enthusiast friend Telly get out of their comfort zone and try pie on what is usually their shared end-of-the-work- week celebration, Cake Friday. In the third, he negotiates an ongoing sibling battle over hogging movie popcorn. And in the middle and most profound story, Motor Mouse hires a cab-he wants to be the passenger, for once-who takes him to his old school, where he discovers that nostalgia isn't all it's cracked up to be. As ever, the team behind the Mr. Putter & Tabby series delights: Howard's bright, boldly outlined cartooning keeps the mood buoyant, and Rylant offers knowing, laugh-out-loud-funny narration. But what readers ultimately come away with is deep satisfaction of having spent time with a rodent who is competent, caring, and at home in the world. Ages up to 8. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Pie, cake, ice cream, popcorn, and bowling only hint at the pleasures to be found in three effervescent little stories.Motor Mouse is a hardworking rodent, and when it comes to his downtime, he certainly knows how to relax. In "The Friday Cake Day" a catastrophic inaccessibility of delights (read: a closed cake shop) leads to new vistas as the titular hero and his friend Telly (an otter) discover the wide and wonderful world of pie. In "Going for a Look-About," Motor Mouse cedes driving control to a raccoon cabbie so that he can take his eyes off the road for once. Finally, in "Front Row at the Picture Show," a long-standing grudge involving a popcorn-hogging brother comes to a head with satisfactory results. Rylant's grasp of succinct storytelling is on full display. Wry understatement (the pie is deemed by Motor Mouse and Telly to be "QUITE ACCEPTABLE," while an arrangement whereby two brothers share a single bucket of popcorn "had not worked for years. And it was not working this Saturday, either") creates memorable characters with minimal syllables. Howard's art too, honed on the author's 27 Mr. Putter Tabby books, deftly balances heart, humor, and the occasional magnificent burst of pathos.In the words of Motor Mouse himself, "QUITE ACCEPTABLE"actually, more than quite. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Delivery driver Motor Mouse has a series of adventures in this new book by the team behind Mr. Putter and Tabby. In the first story, Motor Mouse and Telly, a barber, happily do their jobs all week, looking forward to Friday Cake Day. Disappointed to find their favorite bakery closed one Friday, a cheerful hedgehog saves the day by introducing them to a pie shop in a nearby town. The middle story, ""Going for a Look-About"" has a somewhat wistful tone that children who have moved or experienced loss will understand, while the last story ""Front Row at the Picture Show"" explores the themes of sharing and getting along with others. All the characters are adult animals, but the humorous, bright cartoon-style illustrations ensure child appeal. The format of the book is unusual: the trim size resembles a picture book, but the chapters are more commonly found in beginning readers. The vocabulary is not simple, making the book somewhat of a bridge for adults to share with children as they move toward independent reading.--Lucinda Whitehurst Copyright 2019 Booklist