I had to post a few of my childhood favorites. Everyone knows about ChikaChikaBoomBoom and those books, but I'm still--to this day--hooked on those good old illustrated ones by the really good artists. One is Jan Brett. If you've seen any of her books, they're amazing! I remember we'd collect those books and read them SO many times.Town Mouse Country Mouse was the first book from Brett that I remember reading. She always included a hedgehog somewhere in her illustrations, as she had a pet hedgehog!Gina Diloreto
Brett, J. "Town mouse, country mouse". (1994). New York: Scholastic.A story of two couples of mice; one couple from the country, the other from the city. Each couple becomes curious about the lives of the other couple, and whether or not they would be better living in the opposite place. They decide to switch, and each couple encounters obstacles that they aren't used to. They quickly become homesick and decide they are better off in their original homes. Author uses onomatopoeia to make sounds come to life. Good for grades 1-4.Anissa Saenz-Ochoa
The grass is not always greener on the other side and that is exactly what the town mice and country mice discovered in this story. The mice grow old of their own homes and think they are ready for a change.This is a bit of a wordy picture book, but it teaches a wonderfully true lesson: There's no place like home.Michelle
A bit long but she is the best illustratorMichelle Cepeda
I love the idea behind the book. Two families wanting to have eachother's lives. Teaches a good lesson, with an interesting story for children to enjoy.Learning Extension: In class, the children would make a drawing of both families. One picture of the town mouse in his town house and the other of the country mouse in his country house. Then the children would talk about how they like to live and what they consider they are living in (country/town). Then we would plan two field trips, one to the countryside and one downtown so the children can see how different they are.Carrie Carlson
A beautiful twist on an old tale.Nathaniel Chattic
Grades: 2nd - 3rdThis is a nice retelling of a well-known fable by Jan Brett. The classic elements of the story are still here, so for those that grew up and heard this tale will not be surprised. The text is easy to read and wonderfully framed by the pictures. However, Brett throws a couple of new wrinkles in the form of new characters in a cat and an owl, and there is a nice surprise ending to the tale as well. Kids will be engaged by the pacing of the story, and the theme of friendship and thankfulness are explored very well here. As far as the artwork goes, each page is wonderfully detailed and provides a nice "frame" for the text. Kids will appreciate the level of detail and colors provided for this story.Fine Arts/Language ArtsLesson Ex:) I would ask the kids a warmup question to write down an answer to and discuss - if you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?Robert
I read this today to my fourth graders. They were a bit surprised as it was during our Social Studies lesson. I brought all the children close. I handled the reading as any other read aloud. We compared and contrasted. We discussed the narrative elements. All went well.Once I was satisfied that we truly understood the story, I rose and wrote town and country on the board. We then discussed the traits of each area. I then shared with the students that two words we struggled with last week fit into our T-chart. I then wrote urban and rural on the board.Ah, it all made sense then; the students saw the method to my madness, as it were. They hadn't really understood those terms last week, now they do. We had such a rich discussion that one of the children asked, "What does suburban mean?" A-ha!Now they understand that term too. Sometimes as a teacher you need to approach a subject from a different point of view.Jonathan
This is a cute story but very lengthy as far as story-time is concerned. It has to do with two families of mice, one in the town and one in the country, that decide to try living an easier life in the opposite place. They find that there are hardships in each place they go and return to their own homes.LEARNING EXPERIENCE:Set up a town and a country in the classroom and have the children go to each one. Have special environments and activities in each one (maybe the children will shuck corn in the country center) and then choose which one they thought was easier.Margaret
My daughter (four years, ten months) tells me that this book is amazing for five stars and not just a we really like it at four stars. She also says that it was great except the fox, he was a little too scary. You gotta love kid reactions. This book was an optional resource for social studies in the Memoria Press Kindergarten in the week where we read Come On, Rain! (and in science we discussed rain and the phases of the water cycle). For the social studies aspect we discussed rural versus urban lifestyle. I've read quite a few different versions of Town Mouse and the Country Mouse over the years and this was different from any other I've read, but I think I may have actually enjoyed it more than the rest. As each mouse has a wife, and there is a switch of the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" theme rather than just visiting a cousin in other versions I know. This is a great one to show and compare. Then there are the fun and entertaining illustrations of Jan Brett. While reading through it we didn't focus on it too much, but in rereads we have poured over the pages and really pointed out things on the sidelines to see what is going on beyond just what the characters of mice are saying. Excellent book choice, as always with Memoria Press read aloud recommendations. We also have:Cheryl Wright
1. Genre: Traditional Literature2. Summary: Town Mouse and Country Mouse agree to switch homes in search of a different life style. After encountering some dangerous situations, Town Mouse and Country Mouse learn that life is not always greener on the other side. 3. Critique:(a) Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book a great deal, the author’s style, specifically word choice and tone, were the most appealing features. (b) From beginning to end, the reader is taken on a journey into the lives of Town Mouse and Country Mouse. The author’s descriptive writing style is captivating and full of suspense. The author does an excellent job taking readers into an imaginary world. The splash of humor is just enough to keep young readers engaged. (c) The author uses descriptive writing to help readers visualize what the country mice went through in order to get a simple piece of cheese while living in town. This is shown when the author says, “So her husband crept toward the cheese, whiskers trembling. As he reached it, his foot slipped, and he heard a whoosh, followed by an enormous snap, and he was thrown across the room. He landed in a warm bundle of something soft and furry.” (18) The Town Mice and Country Mice experience some unusual events while living in an unfamiliar place. Humor is used to explain what the town mice did not know was rain. The author writes, “the town mouse’s wife turned to remind her husband to remember the way home, she felt a large wet drop on her head. “What was that?” she asked. “Is the bathtub leaking?” (7) 4. Curriculum Connection:This book would be a great addition to any Language Arts lesson. Students can use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the experiences of the country mice and town mice. Teachers could also incorporate this book into a lesson that teaches elements of a fable.Brittany L.
Jan Brett is one of my favorite authors and illustrators. She takes well known stories, and brings them alive with her illustrations on every page. I could spend a long time on each page looking at the borders and pictures, and still not see everything. This is nice, because every time you read it you find something new. I would recommend her books to anyone, especially this fun tale that keeps the children laughing.Natalie
Classic grass is greener on the other side (until you get there!) tale lushly illustrated by Jan Brett. It's a bit long for my taste in picture books, but there are some unexpected additions to this animal version of House Swap.Upon discovering the species known as cat, one of the town mice calls, "Run! It's an own with teeth!"And in turn, when the city mice see an owl for the first time they exclaim, "A cat with wing!"I had to cackle at the ending. Poor mice.Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
Following her classic sidebar illustration style, Jan Brett enlivens this classic tale of being happy with what you have and where you are and learning to appreciate the hardships and joys in others lifestyles. When a couple of town mice trade places with a couple of country mice they find that all is not what they thought it would be. With humorous results and a few scares readers will see that we all have a place in this world.Shaquita
This is the story of two mouse couples who wants to experience each other way of life; the country mice wants to live the city and the city micewants to live the country life. Neither couple knows about the new environment they were about encounter. At first they were excited about their adventure, but as they were experiencing their environment they encountered some obstacles that makes them appreciate their original home place. The illustrations in this story are very vibrant and eye-catching; also if you take a closer look you will notice that Jan Brett usually gives a little incite of what will happend next in the story. I think this story could be used to help children appreciate their own lifestyles and appreciate the different lifestyles of their peers.Learning Experience: After we have come back from a break (i.e.: winter, spring, or summer breaks) we discuss the things we did and the different places we visited. During a certain part of the year we have a big celebration of the different cultures in the class; we will call this day, "Culture Day." Each family will be asked to bring a special dish from their culture to share with the class; the family can even dress in there own cultural costume (dress). Then I will make a bulletin board ("Differences All Around Me"), which will display the different pictures from "Culture Day," so the children can be reminded of the different cultures in the classroom.