Review: Hermelin the Detective Mouse/ Max’s Review

Hermelin cover

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Hermelin the Detective Mouse

Written and Illustrated by: Mini Grey

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014, Hardcover

Target Audience: Ages 3-8

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Mystery, Finding what you’re good at

How We Discovered This Book: We found this one in the new books bin at our library.

Summary: Hermelin is a mouse living in a little girl’s attic on Offley Street. Things go missing, and Hermelin decides to play detective and find their things. As he solves the mysteries, he leaves notes for the owners to tell them where to find their belongings. What would people think if they knew that Hermelin was a mouse?

What I Liked: Hermelin is cute, and the author/illustrator gives him a lot of personality. The illustrations are so rich, you can linger on each page just looking for all of the hidden details. I love that he names himself after a brand of cheese, rather than something like Bob or Squeaky.

What Did My Kids Think? My kids loved trying to solve the mysteries, and felt very smart when they figured them out. As soon as we were done reading, they immediately wanted to go back and read it again.


Type secret notes for a friend or family member. Hermelin uses a typewriter, but a computer and printer will do. You could find something they’ve been missing, or do an act of kindness.

Imagine you are a mouse. Get down on the floor and discover what you might find if you are at Hermelin’s level.

Review: The Pirate’s Parrot

The Pirate’s Parrot

Written by: Lyn Rossiter McFarland

Illustrated By: Jim McFarland

Tricycle Press, 2000, Hardcover

Target Audience: Ages 3-8

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Bravery, Strength

How We Discovered This Book: This book has been on my “To Read” list for a while. I believe Joanna recommended it to me. We borrowed it from our library.


Captain Cur’s parrot dies, and his monocle is stepped on. How can he be a proper pirate captain without them? His crew finds him a replacement parrot, who is really a stuffed girl teddy bear. The crew teaches her to be a proper pirate, who bites, spits, swashbuckles,  and perches on the captain’s shoulder. But she proves she’s really a proper pirate when they encounter another pirate ship and she saves the day.

What I Liked:

This book is funny, and is immensely fun to read aloud. My kids thought my teddy bear and pirate voices were hilarious. Who doesn’t love to do a good pirate voice?

What Did My Kids Think?

Both of my kids enjoyed the story. My son liked that it was different from other pirate stories. He thought the funniest parts were when the bear talked and tried to be a pirate. In simplest terms, TEDDY BEAR + PIRATES + HUMOR = GOOD STORY in our house.


In searching for resources related to this book, I discovered that the mascot for the Pittsburgh Pirates major league baseball team is called the Pirate Parrot. Go figure.

Pirate Crafts, Coloring, and Printables

Declare it Pirate Day in your house: Dress up like pirates (a scarf, a striped shirt, a belt, and a quick paper eye patch will do), talk like pirates, and use your imagination to turn your couch into a pirate ship set for plunder.

Whether it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) or not, you can always integrate pirate-based lessons into your classroom.