Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter

First published September 1904
59 pages, 28 color illustrations

When Jane and Lucinda go out for a stroll, they have some unexpected visitors at their house. Tom Thumb Hunca Munca (the nursery mice) come to visit. They're very upset by the doll's good which isn't real. They leave quite a mess and borrow a few things. Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca do make amends. They pay Lucinda and Jane sixpence and Hunca Munca sweeps their house.

The History Behind the Tale:
The Tale of Two Bad Mice was one of three stories Beatrix Potter planned to be published with Benjamin Bunny. Two Bad Mice was the one F. Warne & Co. preferred. Beatrix Potter actually had two pet mice named Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca. To aid her sketching, Norman Warne made Beatrix a glass fronted mouse house. F. Warne & Co. considered publishing Two Bad Mice in a larger format, but ultimately decided the small size was adequate. The real doll's house belonged to Norman Warne's niece, Winifred to whom Beatrix dedicated the book.

Miniature Letters (Linder 76-77):
-Lucinda Doll to Hunca Munca
-Tom Thumb to Lucinda Doll
-Lucinda Doll to Tom Thumb
-Tom Thumb to Lucinda Doll
-Lucinda Doll to Hunca Munca
-Hunca Munca to Lucinda Doll

These letters are all about borrowing things and Hunca Munca's work as the dolls' charwoman.

My thoughts: Two Bad Mice is an enjoyable story. Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca do make quite a mess , but it's fun to read about and they do make amends in the end. The mice's borrowing nature reminds me of Mary Norton's Borrowers.

Story Time Themes: Mice, Toys

Favorite Illustrations:
-Hunca Munca with babies (48)
-Tom showing the children the mouse-trap (55)
-Tom Thumb & Hunca Munca putting sixpence in the dolls' stocking (57)
-Hunca Munca with broom and dust-pan (58)

-Doll Party (children bring their dolls to a party--lots of fun to be had by all!)
-Tea party (for that's what Tom Thumb & Hunca Munca tried to have)
-Relay Race (get the goods to the mouse hole)
-Hunca Munca's Messy Colouring on the official Peter Rabbit Website
-Make a pom pom mouse--directions on the official Peter Rabbit Website
-Hunca Munca Coloring Sheet on the official Peter Rabbit Website

Favorite words: perambulator, disappointment, frugal, bolster, sixpence

I hope you've enjoyed my discussion of The Tale of Two Bad Mice. I'll be back next Thursday discussing The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.

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