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One Gray Mouse

by Katherine Burton
illustrated by Kim Fernandes

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counting & numbers
list price: $12.95
also available: Paperback Hardcover
published: 1995
publisher: Kids Can Press
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

One Gray Mouse

From “One gray mouse in a black mouse house” to “Ten red snails in a gray snail pail,” learning about colours and numbers couldn’t be more fun! Originally published as a hardcover in 1995 (Our Choice 1996/1997 Starred Selection).

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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  • Winner, Dimensional Illustrator Award – Bronze Medal
  • Runner-up, National Parenting Publications Award
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From "One gray mouse in a black mouse house" to "Ten red snails in a gray snail pail," learning to count has never been so much fun! A colorful cast of characters, cleverly shaped from Fimo, helps young children learn colors, animals and the numbers from one to ten. Kids will have fun following the adventurous mouse as he scampers from picture to picture, gathering objects from every page.

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Editorial Reviews

The inventive, amusingly plastic-like illustrations of the rhyming counting book, One Grey Mouse by Katherine Burton, are made with brightly colored clay. The scenes are increasingly action packed from the bouncing curls of “Five pink pigs....” to the flying feathers of “Nine white ducks in a red duck truck.”

— Publisher’s Weekly

Though there are many counting books, this is a darling little book, with superb illustrations. One can picture a little one sitting on a beloved lap eagerly looking at the pictures. In each picture is a little gray mouse, and it would be great fun too see if the preschooler can find where the mouse is hiding. (This is) a charming book for a little person. This would be a great gift for a birthday or other occasions. The numbers go from one to ten. Katherine Burton weaves a familiar counting game and illustrations by Kim Fernandes are inspired.

— Christian Library Journal

Ostensibly a vehicle for teaching numbers from one to ten as well as colors, One Grey Mouse also offers wonderful wordplay and a simple story as we watch the grey mouse scamper from picture to picture gathering flowers and a tasty carrot snack. Author and illustrator tie the images together nicely; grey mouse who lives in a black teapot, takes her nap in a cozy tea pot. The pictures are so tactile that little fingers will be trying to pick them off the page.

— Toronto Parent

Readers will be entranced from the minute they see one grey mouse greeting the day from its black teapot’s doorstep on the cover. The mouse is snuggled into its teacup bed asleep on the first page, stretching awake on the title page, munching a carrot on the final page, increasingly endearing in its various ... compound incarnations. Equally captivating are the two black cats on an orange cat mat and the three orange snakes in a blue snake lake, up to ten and through several colours. Three book surprises and amuses with every page — the five pink pigs in yellow pig wigs are particularly winsome — drawing in young learners as well as those who already grasp counting and colours.

— Kirkus Reviews

It might seem that nothing new could possibly be done with the counting book, but Katherine Burton and Kim Fernandes have created a little volume which is vivid, fresh, and thoroughly charming. While the illustrations in One Grey Mouse are what immediately attract attention, the simplicity of its text is very skillful. The pattern is number, colour, animal, in/on a colour, animal, object, rhyming so that “Five pink pigs in yellow pig wigs,” are followed by “Six yellow bees in a green bee tree,” then by “Seven green frogs on a brown frog log.” The little rhymes are so well chosen as to seem inevitable. The book invites participation, in chanting it aloud, laughing at the antics, hunting for the mouse, stroking the cuddly bears, or, best of all, getting out the clay and trying it ourselves.

— Quill and Quire
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Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

About the Authors

Katherine Burton

Katherine Burton is a primary school teacher. One Gray Mouse was her first picture book. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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Kim Fernandes

Kim Fernandes is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. Her books include Sleepy Little Mouse and Busy Little Mouse. She lives in southern Ontario.
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