Monday, August 11, 2014

Mice offer sage advice in "I Wish I Had A Pet" a new picture book by Maggie Rudy-Enter to Win

When I was a child, I had an incredibly  vivid imagination. While  putting my feet into slippers or shoes, I pretended that they were going into their homes. Sitting under the picnic table with a cloth thrown over it, was my make-shift fort,  a haven where I would let my imagination take me to secret places. With lush emerald blades of grass as my cushion, I would become intoxicated by it's summery scent, my eyes occasionally catching a glimpse of an ant or a lady bug, would be the catalyst for my imagining that it lived in a grassy city of sorts,  full of  adventure.

Watching squirrels scampering up trees, I was certain that they retired to homes resplendent with acorn bowls used for eating, and that mouse holes were in reality, secret little hide-outs that contained miniature beds, pretty frocks and other treasures that made their houses cozy abodes that I was too large to crawl into and enjoy with them.
"Potato Forest" photo courtesy of Maggie Rudy

As I "matured", I never lost that child-like sense of wonder, and still believe that faeries, gnomes, mice and other miniature creatures live in magical places.

There are few authors I have reached out to whose books I desperately wanted to review. Maggie Rudy's I Wish I Had A Pet was one of them.

Book cover courtesy of Simon & Schuster
You never know what riches you will uncover when you read comments on blogs that you follow. I don't remember the exact chain of events, but I first discovered Maggie Rudy's blog: MousesHouses through reading a comment left on a blog that I follow.  Following the link, I was smitten:

"Reunion" photo courtesy of Maggie Rudy
I was transported to a magical place from  my childhood, where mice live, laugh and play with abandon. They are wearing adorable clothes, have amazing adventures, and frolic and thrive, just as I always knew they did.

Maggie Rudy, also known as the Empress of Mouseland, has been making mice with felt for twenty years and has been living in Mouseland for so long that she is starting to grow whiskers.


"Ice skating" Photo Courtesy of Maggie Rudy

"Deluxe accommodations" Photo Courtesy of Maggie Rudy


Maggie's Mice are made out of felt, pipe cleaners, cotton, nylon thread and black glass beads. They are pieced, sewn and glued. Maggie uses ALL that are made for her book illustrations.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Rudy


I have a veritable pin-fest whenever I visit Maggie's blog.  I seem to never be able to visit her blog without pinning her images on a variety of my boards.

"Latkes" Photo Courtesy of Maggie Rudy

"Redhead" Photo Courtesy of Maggie Rudy

When I read her blog and found out that she had published a new book, my inner stalker detective kicked in! I HAD to know more about this gifted woman, and I desperately wanted a chance to review her book.

It is my honor to have been granted that opportunity!

Five-year-old-ME
was entranced by the digital photographs, which are scenes composed of objects in combination with handmade elements by Maggie Rudy.
Maggie Rudy photographing her mice! Photo Courtesy of Maggie Rudy


I Wish I Had A Pet enables you to follow a young mouse as she searches for a pet that is just right for her. It is a hard-cover, glorious picture book, (an ebook edition is also available, but in my opinion this is one you will want to HOLD and treasure in your hands, the way a book SHOULD be read).
I Wish I Had A Pet is a feast for the eyes and imagination of children, and those who embrace their inner child, as I do, while sharing an important message.

  I Wish I Had A Pet lovingly teaches children that while it is wonderful to WANT a pet, there are a few factors that should be taken into consideration  before deciding on the pet that they want.

Big or small,
scruffy or smooth,
frisky or quiet-
there are so many pets
to choose from!

Which pet is just right 
for YOU?

Children will learn that pets  come with responsibilities, such as, "when your pet makes a mess, clean up after it....every time."

I Wish I Had A Pet touches on how not all pets like the same things, ie, some pets do not wish to  be dressed, and some might not enjoy play dates. How could you NOT bring a pet into your home when your child learns that the pet will become a  life-long friend, "who is wishing for YOU!"

There is SO MUCH TO SEE in the images in this book. The mice have "pets" of their own, lady bugs, caterpillars, etc. One of my favorite images in the book features two mice pushing baby strollers which were crafted out of walnut shells, tucked lovingly into the shells are none other than what I believe to be LOBSTERS!

I Wish I Had A Pet would be a gift that a child will cherish. It can be read as a bed-time story, for quiet time, in a children's reading group, as well as a classroom setting. The topic of what should be taken into consideration when deciding on a pet, and the detailed images, will plant seeds that will lead to HOURS of discussion!

Often, when I review a children's book I pass the book on to one of a number of children I am fortunate to know in my life. Not the case with this book. I am going to be selfish and keep it. I will keep it in my office where it will be an important reminder of the imagination that brought me so much joy as a child. I will share the book with little ones who might happen to visit, but ultimately, this one is going to be mine,  delightfully mine. I will share it when I feel like taking a much-needed respite into the joys of  child-like wonder, and I will continue to be awed by Maggie Rudy's talent, whenever I take that journey.

Beach Lane Books
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 978-1-4424-5332-6
Available wherever books are sold




MAGGIE RUDY is often spotted in Portland, Oregon, where she has a studio. You can see more of her mice on her blog: MousesHouses, follow Maggie on Tumblr and Twitter.




GIVE-AWAY!!!  I MAY NOT BE SHARING MY COPY OF I WISH I HAD A PET, (a $16.00 value), BUT MAGGIE RUDY HAS OFFERED A COPY FOR ONE OF MY READERS. IF YOU RESIDE IN THE U.S. YOU CAN ENTER TO WIN BY ENTERING ON THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW!! (My apologies to my International readers).  GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway















66 comments:

  1. This looks like an awesome book, and love the scene shooting for each illustration - this is one talented author/artist.

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  2. that book looks amazing and fun!

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  3. Way too cute. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  4. I have 2 cats & a dog :-) wish I had more!

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  5. Caren what a magical world Maggie Rudy has created - those mice and the scenes are the stuff of dreams - I so admire the craftiness and artistic ability when I see projects like this - I'm sure the book is quite unforgettable........Great review!!

    Hugs, Pam (and Sam)

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    1. Pam I sooo agree! I KNEW you would appreciate this gorgeous book! Thank you also, I put my heart into it! ((((hugs)))) back!

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  6. This is beyond cute! How much work it must have been to make this book.

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    1. I agree! Thank you for appreciating her amazing talent. I am just crazy about her work.

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  7. What a cute book. Which I knew a little one who would like it. Have a great week.
    Sue B

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    1. Hi Sue, you know, if you won, you could donate the book to ANY school or Daycare. Even a library. Also battered women's shelters (where women often bring their children). People don't have to have a child to enter. Have a great day!

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  8. What wonderful photos! Each one tells a story.

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  9. Oh My..straight away was beside myself with how adorable these pics are! I still on gorgeous days go lie under the pine trees and imagine the toadstools have little families living there..my inner child is always in a fairy land...good luck to your US readers what a fab book! now I want to lie under the dining room table with a pillow and read Magic Faraway Tree :) hugs and loves Bev xx

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    1. Yep Bev, that was how I was when I first discovered Maggie's work. Ohhh yesss about the toadstool families!! YES!!! Enjoy your day and your trip into fantasy! xoxo

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    2. Thanks sweets I will.off to beddies soon to dream of the fairies :) have a great day xxxxxx big loves Bev xxx

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    3. Thank you and pleasant dreams and much love! Thanks for my "Roo" fix today! xoxo

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  10. Those mice are too adorable for words. I have a little "thing" with mice...my Christmas tree is always exclusively cats and mice ornaments, and when I was a little girl I asked my dad if he cut a little hole in the baseboard of my bedroom might a mouse move in?

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    1. Melissa, your comment THOROUGHLY delighted me!! You "get" it!!!!!!!!! You are my kind of gal! xoxo

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  11. That book looks amazing and those mice are as cute as they can be!

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    1. It is! I just want to pick up all of the little mouseys.....they are too adorable!

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  12. These mice are the cutest things I have ever seen. I can only imagine the time and effort it requires to make just one. And the scenes they are placed in are so detailed and purrfect. I need to see more and hope I win the book. Hugs, Janet

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    1. Janet, I know, right? I just smile every time I look at them. They are exquisite!! Good luck!!! (((hugs))) back!

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  13. Oops, Didn't answer the question. We eight cats have two pet humans! XO, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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  14. I am in LOVE!!!!!!!! I've never seen anything like this...so clever, so artistic, so very very special. Giveaway or no giveaway, I must have this book!!! I can't wait to visit her blog too! What an amazing find. Thanks so very much for sharing all of this with us!

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  15. What an adorable book that must be. I grew up wishing I could have a pet. My parents said no to everything because they felt animals belong on a farm where they had room to run and play. Thus I didn't get a pet until I got married.

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  16. I am hopelessly addicted to MousesHouses!!!

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  17. Hi!!!! Sounds like a wonderful book to share with my grands!!!!! I do love the little mice!!!! I do not have a pet!!!! I do want a pet!!!! Allergies!!!! N ot mine but others who live here!!!! So me and the grands collect toy pets and the imaginations do run wild!!!! Thank You

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    1. Oh Carla it is!!!!! Ohh I love that you and your Grands collect toy pets! Wishing you good luck and you are most welcome!

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  18. If I had that book, I most certainly won't be giving it away either! ;)

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  19. I have a pet, Bob (the cat). Or he may have me as he seems to run the house!
    Love Maggie's mice. Wish I could tuck one somewhere so when I need a smile, there one would be! 🐭hugs, Lee

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    1. Lee I love that idea of tucking one away so it would be there to make us smile! (((hugs))) back

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  20. OMC What a gweat fotogwaphy set up!!! Weez like to wead da comments on da blogs weez follow to. And hav found lots of furiends dat way. Dat's one of da ways weez found yous. :) Hav a gweat day.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi

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    1. It is, isn't it? Awww thanks for making me smile! I think that might be how I found YOU too! I am glad that I did! Love ya!! xoxo

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  21. That is so great!!! Those mice are so darn cute too!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  22. How cute! :-) Have a wonderful week, sweeties! xx Roxy & Tigerlino <3

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  23. I already bought the book and it is wonderful! My four year old and sixteen month old love it too.

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  24. We have a house (and barn) full of pets: 2 standard poodles, 2 barn cats, and 15 Barred Plymouth Rock hens...right now we also have 2 black swallowtail butterfly chrysalises, and 2 more of the caterpillars. I too happened upon Mouseland a couple of years ago, and enjoy "visiting" with my girls. We love Maggie's first book, but haven't bought the 2nd one yet!

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  25. What a lovely book ! I wish a lucky US child is going to get one very soon ! Purrs

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  26. That looks like an adorable book.

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  27. What a great mouse..book. They're overcute. I wish I had a mouse house :) Pawkisses :)

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  28. I love children's books. I collect them wherever I go. I am very particular about buying children's books. The book has to be very unique and inspiring to me. Maggie's first book was just that. I am inspired to do some children's illustrations. What a treat to look through every page of her book. There is so much to discover that you can keep looking at it and you will find something new.

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  29. I have a dog and can't imagine not having a pet. They are a lot of work if you want to take good care of them. They bring such joy and goodness to every day. Just like Maggie's books. Such a delight to visit each page. I always find something new to see.

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  30. Oh my gosh, I love the mice. What a fascinating process to produce the illustrations. This is the kind of book I would love to have had as a child. Maybe I'll get a copy for my inner child.

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  31. Does a house filled (?) with cuddly cats and kittens count?
    LOL!

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  32. I love it when adults not only remember what it is like to be a child...but help to make children's childhood's memorable by creating stories and images for them that they never forget. those mice are truly magically delicious! Thank you for your kind comments with regards to Leo , Caren. We very much appreciated them.

    the critters in the cottage and their Mama Sophie too XO

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    1. Beautifully stated and I couldn't agree with you more. You are MOST WELCOME, I am just heartbroken. Sending you (((hugs))))

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  33. I would love to have a copy of your wonderful book. I read every post you put up with excitement. Your little mice really come to life. I love showing your posts to my grand daughter, who loves them as well.
    hugs Kay

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    1. Kay I wish it were my book, it's Maggie's!! Wishing you good luck!

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  34. I love the little mice! I've had pets my whole life -- always at least one cat, plus various dogs, hermit crabs, hamsters, parakeets... when I was little and longed for my OWN pet, I would find worms and attempt to teach them tricks, or try to keep fireflies as friends. Now my husband and I have two pampered guinea pigs and two spoiled cats.

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    1. Hi Mary Ellen! "teaching worms tricks?" Now THAT'S talent!!! Yay, you have TWO "spoiled cats?" Well, hoping you will add us to the list of cat blogs you follow! Bet your kitties will love it!

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  35. I used to have a cat. But a cat is nog compatible with these lovely mices!
    Now I have 3 birds

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  36. MousesHouses is one of my favorite blogs. I absolutely adore her special scenes and her props.
    We've always had pets. --One arthritic Lab, currently.
    Thanks for the giveaway - this is on my list.

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    1. Hi Kathy! It's one of my favorites too!!! Awww kisses to your Lab and wishing you good luck! Your Lab might like my dog blog too, it is www.dakotasden.net Good luck!!

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  37. ATTENTION LOVELY READERS!!! Some people aren't reading the blog post ALL the way through. I DEEPLY APOLOGIZE that the give-away is open to THOSE LIVING IN THE U.S.A ONLY...(I AM SORRY!) I am seeing a number of people who reside out of the U.S. entering and I am terribly sorry that they aren't eligible.

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  38. You know, when I saw the title of this post, I thought, oh I am so not interested in that, but as I scrolled down and saw the adorable images, and how cute the mice were. now i'm so interested :) very cute!!

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  39. I've had many a pet over the years. both cats & dogs, and even had birds as a child.
    This book is too cute, and with my blog name being GrammyMouseTails, this book really caught my eye!

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  40. Oh what a sweet, lovely post, Caren! Thoroughly enjoyed your post and review...I am smitten by her illustrations...amazing and adorable!

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    1. Awww Clooney!! THANK YOU!!! I adore Maggie's work too! xoxo

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  41. This is such a cute book!! I'm a big rodent lover and have always had rodents for pets. Currently I have chinchillas :) I also have a cat, fish and dogs.

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  42. I have one cat, a british shorthair called Noisette.
    I really love the beautifull pictures of MousesHouses, always seames to be instant capture of life.

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  43. I have 3 cats - Whiskers, Kittson, and Vincent; 2 dogs - Gandalf and Gurl; and several goats named Billy, Nanny, Sally, Bucky, Archie, and Annie...

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