The Mouse Mansion

TheMouseMansion_coverby Karina Schaapman (Dial, 2014; originally published in the Netherlands in 2011.)

This book.

This book is massive and mini all at once.

Its press release calls it Beatrix Potter meets I Spy. A fitting description, that one, but I might call it George and Martha meets The Ultimate Alphabet meets a craftier Cardboard Challenge.

This is the Mouse Mansion.The Mouse Mansion by Karina SchaapmanKarina Schaapman spent years creating this architectural wonder, dreaming up more than 100 rooms and passageways and outdoor spots to explore.

She also dreamed up Sam and Julia, the teensy mice who live in its walls. Here they are. (Click to enlarge.)The Mouse Mansion by Karina SchaapmanThe Mouse Mansion is oversized and so is its book. It holds the best of treasures to look at and imagine. Sam and Julia have seventeen chapters of adventures together. They are small stories with big trouble, small creatures with big heart.

Sam and Julia don’t have enough pennies for the white chocolate with rice bubbles, so they buy broken cookies.

They smile about it.

Sam plays the violin and gives Julia the shivers.

But she’d never tell him how terrible he is.

They burn pancakes and make powdered sugared messes, but agree that pancake day is the very best day.The Mouse Mansion by Karina SchaapmanThat’s what best friends do.

My favorite of all of their escapades is their interaction with Sam’s grandpa, down at the fish market. Julia is shocked to see the pictures of an anchor on his arm and a pirate on his tummy.

Julia is very curious. “Why do you have all those drawings?” she asks. “What are they?”

Grandpa smiles. “They are not drawings,” he says. “They’re tattoos. And each one tells a story.”

Yes, you do. You need this treasure chest of a picture book. You need to see these two critters overload the washing machine and hoist barrels of lemonade up to the loft.

Just try not to squeal too loudly. The triplets are sleeping.

For more pictures of the Mouse Mansion’s bitty charm, check out this post by Julie Danielson at the smorgasbord that is Seven Imp.

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Thanks to Amanda and Caitlin at Penguin for the images and a review copy of the book. Thoughts my own.

4 Comments

  • Erin O'Brien
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I would have obsessed over these pages as a kid–well, probably will as an adult too. The detail is stunning. What a charmer!

  • Posted November 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I needs it!

  • Posted May 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I love your book karina its so cute😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤💘💘💘💘💘💞💞💞

  • Angela
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I would love to make a mouse like these. Do you have a pattern?