'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Mouse and his Child.

Nearly forty years ago Russell Hoban wrote The Mouse and his Child.  

The 'Last Visible Dog' is an idea from this book. 

In 1977 an animated movie was made of the book.  

Like all movies-of-books, it has its shortcomings.

Quirky, philosophical and, at times, somewhat dark book and movie.  

I recommend the book first.  

I especially love the earlier issues with the original Lillian Hoban 


However the movie does have a delightful theme song, which has

resonated for me at certain times in my life.

The Mouse Child's Theme.

Wind in the trees,  leaves on the water 

tell me my name, what am I here for?

And knowing---

As I walk under the umbrella of the sky 

I wonder why, and who am I?

I must be someone.

Stars overhead, silently glowing 

Tell me my name, where am I going?

There must be--

Out in the world it somehow seems I have to learn

Someone who'll smile 

And know my name 

And who will take me home.

Wind in the trees, leaves on the water 

this is my name, my name is laughter. 

And always--

As I walk under the umbrella of the sky 

warm in the sun, 

I know that I have become someone.

Stars overhead, silent and endless

no-one's alone, no-one is friendless 

I think of that wondrous world 

that I no longer have to roam 

and close the door

knowing my name 

and knowing this is home.

-Gene Lees

From the animated movie "The Mouse and His Child"

Post for vendr


  1. The Youtube link you posted is for the WHOLE movie! But I'll follow your advice and try and find the book before I watch it. Some of the greatest ideas and the truest, deepest stuff is in children's books. Perhaps because children's books are still and always have been about story telling and haven't been sidetracked into more avant garde modes of literary expression.

  2. Yes I know, all 77 minutes of it. I can lend you my copy if you can't find one.

  3. I've never heard of this! I'll have to look out for it.

    The very best children's books are full of philosophy and beauty. I have no problem with reading them - the fact that they are children's books doesn't make them of no value to anyone over twelve. ;)

  4. I used to have and love another book by Russel Hoban, The Mole Family's Christmas. Did you ever read that one?

  5. Anonymous21.12.11

    You've got the lyrics a bit wrong.


    Wind in the trees, leaves on the water,
    tell me my name; what am I here for?
    For always, as I walk under the umbrella of the sky
    I wonder, why, and who, am I?
    I must be someone.

    Stars overhead, silently glowing,
    tell me my name; where am I going?
    There must be, out in the world it somehow seems I have to roam,
    someone who'll smile and know my name
    and who will take me home.

    Wind in the trees, leaves on the water,
    this is my name: my name is Laughter.
    And always, as I walk under the umbrella of the sky,
    warm in the sun, I know that I
    have become someone.

    Stars overhead, silent and endless,
    no-one's alone, no-one is friendless.
    I think of that wondrous world that I no longer have to roam,
    and close the door, knowing my name,
    and knowing this is home.

  6. Yes Jay. The best children's books are good for all ages... Have you picked up a copy of 'The Mouse and His Child' yet?

    Dan, I never read 'The Mole Family's Christmas' but I will look out for it based on your suggestion.

    Anonymous, thank you for putting me right! :-)
    The commas in certain places improve the meaning, I like your line breaks better... and 'roam' is a better rhyme for 'home' than 'learn.

  7. Thank you for this - I didn't know about the film. I have long loved Hoban's work - the adult books as well as the children's ones. On Saturday we took grnadchildren to see the RSC production of "The Mouse and His Child" - great fun, but again, it was faithful to some of the plot, but struggled to display the philosophical aspects.

  8. You are welcome Albertine. And welcome to TLVD. RSC... The Royal Shakespeare Company? The philosophical aspects are complex, I think, even in the book. Perhaps you could read it to them?

    I would love to see the RSC perform anything!