The Story of Jumping Mouse: A Native American Legend Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-02-13 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 35 user ratings

"I love this book! I received through a school program when I was the second grade, and it has been one of my favorite children's stories since. It is a Native American tale of a young mouse who faces many obsticales on his way to another land. The mouse learns to be selfless and brave on his journey, and is rewarded at the end. This story is beautifully illustrated (it is a Caldecott Honor winner)and calls to both small children, older kids, and adults alike. I read this story to my Children's Literature class and they all fell in love with it, as did the group of kindergarteners I shared it with (they requested that I read it again and again!)." said.

"I greatly enjoyed this book when I first read it years ago. The art style is what first intrigued me so I decided to read it at my local library's storytime for children hour. It was part of volunteering but I found such joy reading about this compassionate mouse heading off on his adventure to far off land. The children and I ended up discussing the book afterwards and it was fascinating. We all learned (and I relearned) how important it is to help others and to never give up if something is important to you. While I love the art I would have been interested in seeing a coloured version. I and the children didn't fully understand the ending, but very this is a very enjoyable book." said.

"I had never heard this Native American anthropomorphic folktale until I picked up this book for the Caldecott Challenge. It won a 1985 Caldecott Honor and rightly so as the illustrations are gorgeous and it is a captivating story as well. A mouse wants to journey to the far-off land, a place he has only heard about in stories. On his way there, he meets a magical frog who grants him the ability to jump really high and gives him some magic. At each stage of his journey, the humble but brave Jumping Mouse gives a bit of himself to other animals he meets and they help him reach his goal of the Far-Off Land, and he is rewarded in the end. Recommended for ages 4-9, 5 stars. " said.

"Mouse wants to travel to far away lands. He first encounters Magic Frog who helps him cross a river by naming him Jumping Mouse and giving him the ability to jump. Along the way mouse meets different creatures and helps them the way Magic Frog helped him. Although as Jumping Mouse helps them, he loses the ability he has given them. For example, he gave a bison the gift of sight and then Jumping Mouse loses his sight. Happily, Jumping Mouses' kind spirit is rewarded at the end.

The black and white illustrations use shading very effectively. The illustrations are a bit abstract, but the character images are large enough to pop out on the pages.
" said.

"This story appeals to Logan's love of animals and the text has a rhythm that's kind of mesmerizing. The B&W illustrations are what drew me to this book. They are detailed, lifelike, and emotionally-charged. The first 5 or 6 times I read this aloud, I choked up at the end and Logan would ask me what was wrong. I found it hard to describe how beauty and transformation can make a person tearful, but I tried. Logan asks for this book frequently. I know that there are many versions of this story and I do feel that this version is a bit too simplified, but we do enjoy it. If you google the title, there are a number of native american sites that have other versions of the story and I plan to read those to Logan at some point. " said.

"Jumping Mouse wants to journey to the far-off land and receives legs that help him jump twice as high from Magic Frog. The journey is far from easy. Along the way Jumping Mouse encounters creatures of all sizes who are in need and Jumping Mouse selflessly gives of himself to fulfill their needs. First he gives his eyesight to a bison. Then, he gives his sense of smell to a wolf, but both creatures are so blessed by Jumping Mouse's gifts that they help him reach the far-off land by offering him protection on his journey. Once he reaches the far-off land Magic Frog tranforms Jumping Mouse into an eagle and declares that he will always be a resident of the far-off land. Beautiful story brought to life through black and white illustrations. The animals are displayed in all their beauty and glory yet also embody a human spirit in their moments of need. Must see." said.

"I chose this book at random from the library shelf, and was disappointed to see I'd picked "a long one" the night I picked it up to read as a bedtime story.

The thing about Jumping Mouse, though, is that it's so engrossing and its lessons are so valuable, I'd have read myself hoarse to get to the end. (At which point, I'm sure a lovely pencil-illustrated forest creature would have given me some sort of enchanted gift in exchange for my sacrifice.)

Regardless, this story is a gift. I didn't realize it was a Native American folktale when I picked it up, but this is truly a story that knows no cultural boundaries. If you read this book--I don't care what age you are--and it doesn't open your eyes to your own potential and the gifts of all those around you, then YOU FAIL, my friend. It's on YOU.
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"A little mouse sets off in search of the great land far beyond he has heard and dreamed of. The way there has challenges, but Magic Frog gives the little mouse the ability to jump which helps make things easier. Along the way, Jumping Mouse comes across others animals in need, and with magic from Magic Frog he self-sacrificially gives away of his magic and senses to help them. In the end, Jumping Mouse reaches his destination but cannot see or smell it due to his acts of kindness until Magic Frog rewards his unselfishness.

I absolutely love Steptoe's illustrations, even though they are black and white, they are still incredible. The story itself is also wonderful. Jumping Mouse is so sweet and kind, he's a great little hero and role model. Those studying Native Americans can use this tale from their folklore, as could those studying the ecosystems of the American West.
" said.

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