Written by Shen Roddie, Illustrated by Steve Lavis
Picture Book: K-4
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Summary: Tad, the mouse, tries to help out all of his friends with their chores on the farm, each time to be told, “you’re too small.” As Tad begins to become disheartened by his size, he is able to help his friends out when they get into trouble, simply because he is small enough to get the job done.
My favorite part about this book was definitely the message! We, as individuals, each have something to bring to the table. Our differences, which we might see as disadvantages in one situation, can be extremely advantageous in other situations. While I was reading this book, I can recall telling my younger sister over and over again that she was “too young” to help me out with projects when we were growing up. And then of course, I would need her help in a particular circumstance, as she was the only one who could help. And of course, she would refuse to help me since I had denied her help repeatedly in the past.
The one thing that I did not particularly understand or enjoy about this book was the way in which the characters were named. The main character, Tad, had a name separate from his animal name, mouse. The remainder of the characters were called by their animal names: pig, cow, rabbit, goose. I found it very odd that there was one character that had a unique name, while the rest of the characters had generic names. Why might the author have done this? I don’t know. But I have been trying to think of possible reasons to make sense of it.
This book definitely has classroom application. Similar to The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School, this book can be used to begin or supplement a discussion on individualism and the ways in which our differences can benefit the entire classroom community. We each have strengths and weaknesses that can be important and useful in separate situations. In our classroom, we could also brainstorm situations in which each of the students that they have felt not _____ enough to do something that they wanted to do. To go along then, we would discuss other situations in which we have been able to help our friends and families because of our abilities.