I organized our school’s annual book swap this year, where families bring in bags of books they no longer want, the library committee sorts them, and then students, parents, and staff select books to supplement their summer reading. Any books remaining at the end of the swap get donated to a community thrift store. Kids love the swap, and it’s fun to sort through everyone’s reading. I found this little gem, and wanted to share it with you all.
Notice that the case binding has been nibbled away by our main character, Mademouse-elle (my name for the little rodent). It’s a lovely hint at what’s to come.
Actually, it’s original name is “Histoire D’une Petite Souris Qui Construit une Maison.” But since this is a wordless picture book, rest assured the illustrations are not lost in translation.
Enter la petite souris, Mademouse-elle, a sad-whiskered little critter…
So, so sad. But her sadness doesn’t keep her from scratching a bit at the page…
Until she creates a tiny tear, one that piques her interest…
And in this moment of discovery, our poor, sad mouse, becomes ecstatic, and nibbles a hole in the page. All but her tale disappears through the heart-shaped tear.
Then she sets to work, nibbling through the paper at strategic origami fold intervals, exposing a a bit more garden underneath the paper as we turn page after page.
When the paper is completely nibbled through around the edges, Mademouse-elle begins to fold the cut-out into a structure.
She folds and folds and folds while ants wander about, butterflies flit through, and bees pollinate the flowers in the garden.
Finally, when her house is complete she peeks out the heart-shaped hole in the roof, only to find a friend, bringing a flower as a housewarming gift. Together the pair share the newly constructed home.
A testimony to the idea that if you stop feeling lonely and sorry for yourself and, instead, create something beautiful from your heart, surely there will be friends who will want to share it with you.
Something that adults and children can—ah—take to heart. Cheers!