Sunday, August 24, 2008

This favourite children's book

this favorite children's book

There are many, many children's books I love. Books I loved as a kid, books I love as a parent. But the hands-down winner has to be this book, Sugar Mouse Cake by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham. It's the story of a lonely and under-appreciated pastry cook named Tom and his beloved companion, the mouse Tina. It has it all -- suspense, near-tragedy, and a happy ending...and lots and lots of cakes.

I never owned this as a child, I checked it out regularly at our library and read it in the library probably every week I didn't check it out. I always remembered how much I loved it, and years ago (pre-ebay) I was in a specialty book store and asked if they ever got it. The shop owner told me that he could put me on the waiting list...but it would be 5 or 6 years before my name got to the top, and I could expect to pay several hundred dollars for it when I got the chance. That's when I found out how many other people loved this book!! Sadly, it has never been reprinted even though the authors are very well-known and most of their other books remain in print. Luckily for me, we eventually found a reasonably priced reading copy on ebay; and then Evan found an even nicer copy for me as a present which we have shelved out of reach. Someday, I dream of finding a perfect copy (no library marks!) at a price I can afford...not likely, but in the meantime, I have perfectly readable copies for Emily and myself.

This week's This Is... theme brought to you by PottyMouthMama.


  1. Wow! I love that cake! Have you ever tried to make one? If anyone could it would be you.:)
    I recognized the illustrator from the Harry the Dog books. I would love to read it.
    The premise sounds kind of like Ratatouille. I wonder if they got the idea from this!

  2. Awww I remember that one, too! My favorite was "Naughty Nicky" by Tony Ross. Took me a while to track down a copy, though now they appear to be all over Abe Books and other places. My husband finally found it for me - such a great surprise!

  3. I've never heard of that book, but it sounds fantastic.
    One of my all-time favorite books as a kid was titled The Cookie Tree written by Jay Williams and it still holds the same magic for me now. I had to track it down on to find a decent copy as my original fell apart many years ago. My kids love reading this one, too.

  4. I'm a big lover of children's books in general - and this one sounds terrific! Good thing you found it! :)

  5. At first glance, I thought that was drawn by Andi Watson.

  6. I have Margaret Bloy Graham's book "Jeffie's Party". Love that style of illustration.

  7. Wow, this looks like such a great book - great illustrations, and sounds like a beautiful story! What a shame they've never reprinted it - especially when there are so many fans. It looks fantastic!


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