Scan 1

I will be leaving March 21st to visit Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Ann Arbor (schedule of events will appear when I have final details, on my blog in order to introduce poeple to what I think of as "the mouse book."  Since the main cast of characters appears on the cover, I'll introduce them, left to right:

Harvey, an adolescent,well-meaning but often obnoxious

Roderick, a somewhat bumbling but good-hearted companion (he would like to be more than that) to...

Hildegarde, the elected Mouse Mistress, leader of the community: lots to do, lots to worry about. And she must fend off:

Lucretia: Sneaky, sarcastic, and Hildegarde's sworn enemy. Lucretia would like to usurp Hildegarde's postiion

and finally: Ignatious, elderly and pedantic. He lived for years at the University Library, nibbling knowledge, but ended up at St. Bartholmew's by mistake, having fallen asleep in Father Murphy's coat pocket...where he had gone to nibble some tobacco crumbs... during a dull lecture.

My favorite illustration, out of all of Eric Rohmann's wonderful illustrations, is this one:


I love the look on Roderick's face as he struggles to boost Hildegarde up to where she can reach into the bottle.

This book will not be officially published until March 21st but I'll quote some interesting pre-publication comments, both public and private:

KIRKUS calls it  "gently Christian"

A reveiwer on Amazon says it is "Too Catholic"

Publishers Weekly says: "An impeccably constructed, good-humored adventure"

The former dean of a major theological seminary (Anglican) says that it proves what he has always known, that one must avoid Altar Guild ladies.

And an Episcopal church organist, male, says in an e-mail that Trevor Fusili, the organist in BLESS THIS MOUSE, is just perfect except for his hair.  Trevor has long and unkempt hair. The organist says that his hair should be close-cropped.

Who knew?