The most recommended mouse books

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to mice, and here are their favorite mouse books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of mouse book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of A Visitor for Bear

Carmen Oliver Author Of Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies

From my list on picture books about bears, buddies, and writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I once spotted a mama black bear and her cubs on a camping trip in Manitoba, Canada. I kept a safe distance watching in awe as the cubs climbed trees. I’ve been fascinated with bears ever since. Most of the books I publish center around strong themes of family, friendship, making a difference in the world, and many have a bear as a secondary character. I think there’s always room for more bear stories in the world, don’t you?

Carmen's book list on picture books about bears, buddies, and writing

Carmen Oliver Why did Carmen love this book?

Before I was a published author, I had a critique with author Bonny Becker on one of my works-in-progress. She’s a generous writer who knows a lot about creating characters readers truly care about. I love her comedic writing style and this is one of my favorite books. I love the persistence of Mouse in winning over curmudgeonly Bear in this unlikely tale of friendship. If you like this book, check out the other adventures in the series.

By Bonny Becker, Kady MacDonald Denton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Visitor for Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

"A Visitor for Bear has the feel of a classic, and it’s so cozy no parent could object to reading it aloud every night." — The New York Times Book Review (starred review)

Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But the mouse — who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places — just won’t go away! Cheery persistence wears down the curmudgeonly Bear in a wry comedy of manners that ends in a most unlikely friendship.


Book cover of Cats in Medieval Manuscripts

Celia Haddon Author Of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

From my list on cat lovers and cat rescuers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore cats and am anxious to improve their welfare. Late in life, I took a second degree and a masters in animal behaviour to learn more about feline welfare. People are now researching cats’ needs and discovering more about their welfare. I passionately want to get the message out there to ordinary cat lovers. Purrlease, the more you learn about cats, the more your cats will benefit. 

Celia's book list on cat lovers and cat rescuers

Celia Haddon Why did Celia love this book?

Although this book seems quite different from my other choices, there is a serious message among the fun.

In between the glorious medieval cat pictures, the author tells us what past writers thought about cats. When I read how cats were misjudged and ill-treated in the past, I feel better about the present. So, I read this book to cheer myself up when I am feeling gloomy about cat welfare.

And the pictures are a joy too.

By Kathleen Walker-Meikle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cats in Medieval Manuscripts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cats were illustrated in medieval manuscripts throughout the Middle Ages, often in exquisite detail and frequently accompanied by their natural prey, mice. Medieval cats were viewed as treasured pets, as fearsome mousers, as canny characters in fables, as associates of the Devil and as magical creatures. Featuring an array of fascinating illustrations from the British Library's rich medieval collection, Cats in Medieval Manuscripts includes anecdotes about cats - both real and imaginary - to provide a fascinating picture of the life of the cat and its relationship with humans in the medieval world.


Book cover of That's not my puppy...: Its Coat is Too Hairy

Dan Moren Author Of All Souls Lost

From Dan's 1-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Podcaster Tech journalist Star Wars enthusiast Gentleman thief

Dan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Dan's 1-year-old's favorite books.

Dan Moren Why did Dan's 1-year-old love this book?

Look, the plot is thin: a mouse needs to find its puppy and has to dismiss several wrong dogs before finding the right one.

But each dog has a fun tactile experience (a fluffy tail, bumpy paws, a squashy nose), and the pictures are big and colorful. It was one of the first books my kid could recognize by name, and we’re still reading it months later.

By Fiona Watt, Rachel Wells (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked That's not my puppy... as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A touchy-feely board book with simple, repetitive text, tactile patches and bold illustrations suitable for babies and toddlers. A little white mouse appears on every page, for children to spot.


Book cover of Walter: The Story of a Rat

Joan Marie Galat Author Of Mortimer: Rat Race to Space

From my list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since writing a middle-grade novel about a lab rat living on the International Space Station, I was curious to see how other authors tackled the challenge of creating stories about talking rats and mice. After all, these rodents are not generally popular in real life. What exciting approaches did others use to get past this dilemma? I wanted to see how they balanced the ideal—being true to the nature of a species—while constructing original characters in challenging situations. Analyzing how other writers succeed is always useful.

Joan's book list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures

Joan Marie Galat Why did Joan love this book?

This is the tale of a writer and reader who share a house. The writer, however, is a reclusive human and the reader a rat longing for a friend. The author’s approach is clever and subtle. And while I’m naturally drawn to books about writers, it was the rat that captivated me. I read this book rather quickly. I had to know if Walter could find his way through the difficulty of loneliness. 

By Barbara Wersba, Donna Diamond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Two lonely creatures find that companionship is closer than they thought in this charming tale of friendship

This is the story of a writer and a reader. The writer is a person. The reader is a rat. They share an old house on Long Island, but have never met. How these two lonely creatures discover one another is the essence of this story.


Book cover of Lilly's Chocolate Heart

Marc Remus Author Of The Chocolate Clouds

From my list on chocolate.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This is what I ask myself very often. Being an award-winning children’s book author with a passion for chocolate and sweets, I began to wonder how healthy my lifestyle really is. With the death of an overweight friend of mine and many people around me with weight issues, I felt it was time to write a book about food choices for kids.

Marc's book list on chocolate

Marc Remus Why did Marc love this book?

A little mouse is trying to hide its red-foil-wrapped chocolate heart, but every hiding place she finds is not safe enough for her standards. Eventually, she puts it in her mouth and eats it. Now it’s safe! This delightful picture book for preschoolers makes me smile each time I read it. The illustrations are simplistic and beautiful. They fit perfectly to the text. 

By Kevin Henkes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lilly's Chocolate Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lilly loves her chocolate heart. Will she save it? Forever and ever? What do you think?

This sweet and simple board book for the youngest readers features Lilly, star of the Kevin Henkes classic Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

The charming board books featuring favorite preschool characters from Kevin Henkes are:

Julius's Candy Corn Lilly's Chocolate Heart Owen's Marshmallow Chick Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick Wemberly's Ice-Cream Star

All five are also available together in a collection: A Box of Treats.


Book cover of The Tale of Despereaux Trade Book

Liz Montague Author Of The Equinox Test (School for Unusual Magic #1)

From my list on Magical worlds for young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I struggled a lot with reading as a kid, I would not call myself a natural reader at all. When I was young, fantasy and magic stories were one of the few genres that could grip me enough to make me actually focus and attempt to read but I always hated the ones that took themselves too seriously (they always felt impossibly long to get through). Now, as a children’s author, myself, it’s my hope and passion to serve fellow young-readers-who-don’t-consider-themselves-readers with fun accessible stories. I hope you enjoy!

Liz's book list on Magical worlds for young readers

Liz Montague Why did Liz love this book?

I read this back in grade school! There’s a mouse, a princess, and a quest (the rest you can discover for yourself).

Despereaux is an unlikely hero but, armed with his sewing needle, the gang of rats he’s up against don’t stand a chance.

The story is completely immersive, to this day it makes me crave soup.

By Kate DiCamillo,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Tale of Despereaux Trade Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

A heartwarming young adventure story, winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal.

A deftly crafted fairy tale adventure story from a New York Times bestselling author, twice winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal. Here, reader, is the tale of a tiny, sickly mouse with unusually large ears; a mouse who takes his fate into his own hands. It is the tale of a beautiful, flaxen-haired princess who laughs often and makes everything around her seem brighter. It is the tale of a poor, deaf serving girl who entertains foolish dreams of splendour. It is a tale of impossible love, of bravery…


Book cover of Spring Story

Hannah Batsel Author Of A is for Another Rabbit

From my list on with super-detailed illustrations to stare at.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I fall in love with a fantasy world, I want to consume as much of that world as possible. That’s why I’m drawn to illustration that is so dense with worldbuilding elements. In my own work, I started indulging this obsession by creating tiny one-by-three-inch books that contained fully-illustrated alien worlds before eventually moving on to bigger books like A is for Another Rabbit, a book crammed so full of hidden jokes, Easter eggs, and thousand-rabbit-wide crowd scenes that my hand hurt by the end of it. Extreme detail is a way of prolonging the delight and discovery inherent in reading picture books, and I intend to keep pushing it to the limit!

Hannah's book list on with super-detailed illustrations to stare at

Hannah Batsel Why did Hannah love this book?

While Spring Story is the first book in Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge series, all eight of them are bursting with sumptuous, hyper-detailed illustrations of a pastoral mouse society in the English countryside. Barklem’s watercolors are jam-packed (literally – so many jars of jam) with mouth-watering baked goods, flowers, and trees that any gardener would envy, and one of my favorite illustration techniques ever – the cutaway – to show the layout of the mice’s treehouses, flour mill, and other buildings that keep the tight-knit mouse village running smoothly. If you've ever salivated over the feasts of Redwall but been less-than-enthusiastic about the possibility of a weasel massacre, let the ever-sunny Spring Story scratch that itch in full, vibrant color.

By Jill Barklem,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spring Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the miniature world of the mice of Brambly Hedge!

Wilfred woke early. It was his birthday. He had lots of lovely presents, but the best one was a surprise... Mr Apple had organised a secret celebration picnic and all the mice of Brambly Hedge were invited.

There was so much to carry. Poor Wilfred got very tired as he lurched and bumped his way along the grassy track. What was it Mrs Apple had said was in his hamper? Knives? Sandwiches? They were certainly heavy!

When they finally arrived, Wilfred was allowed to open up…


Book cover of Winter Story

Howard McWilliam Author Of Just SNOW Already!

From my list on illustrated stories packed full of snow.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved snow for as long as I can remember: a childhood enthusiasm which has not dimmed one bit in adulthood. When those flakes flutter silently from the sky I feel a thrill just like an eight-year-old getting the day off school, a feeling that I try to convey in Just Snow Already! I adore snow scenes depicted in art and children’s illustrations when that magic is transferred to the page… and unlike the real thing, you can enjoy it with a hot drink and warm toes. 

Howard's book list on illustrated stories packed full of snow

Howard McWilliam Why did Howard love this book?

Growing up, I was enchanted by Jill Barklem’s detailed watercolour illustrations of this miniature world of mice. The cosy, fire-lit interiors—crammed with furniture, food and flora—are so intricately drawn as to give you the feeling you could walk through them.

Barklem also makes liberal use of one of my favourite devices for visual exploration: the cutaway. It’s used to excellent effect here as the mice carve out even more real estate under the snow, namely an Ice Hall for their winter ball.

These illustrations instilled in me a love of detailed artwork, and faithful rendering of a three-dimensional environment, that persists to this day in my own style.

By Jill Barklem,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winter Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the miniature world of the mice of Brambly Hedge!

It was the middle of winter and very, very cold. The mice of Brambly Hedge forecasted snow.

And they were right. In the morning they awoke to find their doors and windows hidden behind deep drifts. There hadn't been snow like this for years. "There's enough for a Snow Ball!" cried the mice with glee, and set to work in the time-honoured way to make an Ice Hall for the festivities. The little mice watched wide-eyed as all the preparations were made.

Then at last everything…


Book cover of Frederick

Bethanie Deeney Murguia Author Of Do You Believe in Unicorns?

From my list on seeing magic in the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and illustrator of picture books who is always seeking magic in the world around me. I love to daydream, wander, wonder, and get lost in nature as much as possible. I’m also an avid reader of books that celebrate the natural world, animals, and imagination. Happy reading!

Bethanie's book list on seeing magic in the world

Bethanie Deeney Murguia Why did Bethanie love this book?

Frederick is a classic that continues to speak to me. Frederick is a creative mouse who gathers beauty from the world—he’s a daydreamer and a poet. His talents aren’t appreciated by the other mice at first. By the end of the story, though, they realize that his talents are essential to their survival. I love how this book celebrates creativity and difference.

By Leo Lionni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Frederick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Leo Lionni’s Caldecott Honor–winning story about a little mouse who gathers something unusual for the long winter is turning fifty! Celebrate this beloved favorite, which now includes a special introduction from noted children’s book historian Leonard Marcus.
 
Winter is coming, and all the mice are gathering food . . . except for Frederick. But when the days grow short and the snow begins to fall, it’s Frederick’s stories that warm the hearts and spirits of his fellow field mice. Winner of a 1967 Caldecott Honor, Frederick has been cherished by generations of readers.
 
“A splendid achievement.” —School Library Journal, starred…


Book cover of Journey Beyond the Burrow

Ben Gartner Author Of The Eye of Ra

From my list on new action-packed middle grade with heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to read a good action-adventure story. I’ve also written a few. And I know that no matter how high the stakes, if there’s no heart in the characters then there’s very little engagement to make it any more memorable than a temporary thrill. I love thrills, but the stories that stick with you after the excitement of the moment is over, those are the true gems. Besides the fun of reading that type of book, maybe you even learn something about yourself or the world and come out a wee bit wiser than when you went in. And isn’t that a fantastic use of our imaginative powers?!

Ben's book list on new action-packed middle grade with heart

Ben Gartner Why did Ben love this book?

Do not be fooled by the cuddly creatures on the beautiful cover! This book is full of harrowing adventure, creepy tension, and frightening woodland creatures like giant spiders and deadly snakes. At least, as seen from the perspective of our main character, Tobin the mouse.

Tobin’s quest is full of heart, for he has taken it upon himself to save his younger brother from the clutches of the invading spiders who stole him to a faraway lair. Their adventure reminded me of Secret of Nimh or The Lord of the Rings in that we follow a reluctant hero who rises to the occasion and shows their true self over the course of a challenging adventure.

This is a terrific middle-grade action-adventure story bulging with heart.

By Rina Heisel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey Beyond the Burrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD GOLD STANDARD SELECTION!

With the adventure of Avi’s Poppy series and the heart of A Wolf Called Wander, this charming and exciting middle grade adventure follows one mouse’s journey to save his baby brother from a sinister evil.

There are rules every mouse must follow if they’re to survive in the forest.

Tobin knows these guidelines by heart. After all, with one younger sibling, another on the way, and a best friend with a penchant for trouble-making, he needs to be prepared for anything.

But one stormy night, Tobin’s safe burrow is invaded by monstrous arachnids,…