The Mouse and His Child

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First edition (publ. Harper & Row)

The Mouse and His Child is a novel by Russell Hoban first published in 1967. It has been described as "a classic of children's literature, and possibly the book for which Mr. Hoban is best known."[1] It was adapted into an animated film in 1977. The book was out of print until a new edition with new illustrations by David Small was released in 2001.

The mouse and child of the title are a pair of toy mice, joined by the hands and operated by clockwork. The story tells of their beginning in a toy store, their purchase and eventual discarding, their pursuit by a malicious rat and their quest to become self-winding.

The story shares commonalities with E.B. White's Charlotte's Web by contrasting with a large part of children's literature in the sense of occasional use of advanced vocabulary, a willingness to include adult themes, and talking animals.

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