Montgomery the Royal Mouse
by Patricia F. Smith
Trafford Publishing

"Montgomery was not just any old mouse; he was really a Royal Mouse. He lived in a Royal Castle and he had his very own crown too! In fact, that is where he lived–in the King’s crown!"

King Nodndoze opens this humorous children's story dressed in royal robes, but carrying a broom and searching for a pesky mouse that has caused him a lot of trouble. Clearly, Patricia F. Smith understands her early elementary audience and their delight in the unexpected. Here they find a king who acts more like a servant. Following closely behind is a mouse who expects to be served. Montgomery mouse lives quite a royal life, indeed, with a cozy bed nestled in the king's crown and plenty of space to store the cheese he snatches from the dinner table.

Smith, a professional artist, has spent the last twelve years doing early literacy work with children ages 5-8. The format of her latest book makes it appropriate for elementary groups, with large, bright illustrations that stand alone on the page, perfect for showing around a semicircle of kneeling children. The simple and colorful drawings are sometimes disorienting, with changes in scale and perspective from page to page. The king's purple robes are sometimes more pink, sometimes light blue, which could be confusing for the youngest children. One assumes that the flat perspective reflects Smith's decision to simplify the drawings, rather than any lack of ability, given her background in art and drawing. As any teacher and grandmother might, Smith embeds a subtle moral in her tale about the industrious Montgomery. To keep his host, the king, happy, the little mouse has to stop hoarding all the cheese, and leave some on the table for others.

Return to USR Home