The Mouse Mansion, mouse in a bed

Holland (the mother land of my mother) is a place I associate with small things, from the narrow houses, to the propensity to add the diminutive ‘je’ to the end of words, to the miniature theme park called Madurodam, to the country itself. Because of this, I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that The Mouse Mansion was created by someone Dutch, Karina Schaapman. This volume of vignettes about two mouse friends and their adventures features photographs of an elaborate mouse doll house and its miniature mouse inhabitants. It’s just so Dutch.

The Mouse Mansion_Interior_Mansion

The Mouse Mansion_Interior

The Lonely DollPicture books with photographs of created worlds and characters are few and far between — the most famous in my mind is The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright, a strange and creepy story about Edith (the lonely doll), Little Bear, and Mr. Bear, which has captivated readers since it was published in 1957 – and yet created words and characters are the tools by which children make up their own stories. The Mouse Mansion inspired my craft partner and me to create our own mice characters, along with beds in which to transport them. Make your own … and then make up stories.

Mouse materials:

  • Felt
  • Buttons or beads
  • Thick thread and needle
  • Stuffing

Mouse_Materials_1

Cut a circle out of felt to be the body, and two smaller circles to be the ears.

Fold the large circle in half and sew around the edge, stopping around three-quarters of the way to stuff the body. Complete sewing to the end, then tie a knot, leaving a length of thread for the tail.

Sew on eyes – either beads or buttons – on both sides. 

Pinch the smaller circles of felt and sew one to each side of the body to make the ears.

Sew whiskers by knotting the thread and leaving a length several times over.

Mice_2

Mice_3

Mouse bed materials:

  • Altoids® tin
  • Paint
  • Felt
  • Thick thread and needle

Trace the tin on a piece of felt and cut it out to be the mattress. Cut a larger piece of felt to be the blanket. Cut, sew, and stuff a square of felt to be a pillow.Bed_Materials_4

 Paint the top of the Altoids tin and let it dry.Altoids_Painted_5

Assemble your mouse in her bed. Take it on a trip. Make up a story.My mouse_6Eliana's mouse_7

The Mouse Mansion_Cover

The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman.

Published in the United States by Dial Books in 2014. First published in Dutch by Rubinstein B.V.

Check out The Mouse Mansion website for tutorials on how to make items in The Mouse Mansion and more.

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