Mouse siblings Violet and Jobie must suddenly fend for themselves in a world both terrifying and lovely.
Violet & Jobie in the Wild by Lynn Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, 2022, 227 pages.
Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10
Recommended for: ages 4-8 as a read-aloud; 7-10 for independent readers
Back to Nature
It all began with the cheese game, otherwise known as a mousetrap. Siblings Violet and Jobie have learned to beat the game with the aid of some slender object (like a pencil) capable of snapping the trap without injury to mice. They’ve become quite clever at indoor life, even to understanding some of human language due to long exposure to television. Thus, when the mother and child catch them in another trap and discuss turning them loose in nature, the mice understand the words. They even know something about “Nature,” as seen on TV. But the real thing is big and scary, as they soon discover after release in the wild and an encounter with a fox.
Fortunately, an older mouse named Zolian is able to introduce them to the dangers of life in the wild, as well as the joys. From foraging in disguise to surfing a rainspout and even to hitching a ride on a rabbit, the siblings gain competence and confidence. Eventually they’ll go their separate ways: one to domestic tranquility and the other to travel and further adventures. It’s a big world, at times “Terrifying [according to Zolian]. But also lovely. As so much of life is. I have been a very fortunate mouse.” Nature is meant to be experienced personally, not through a screen.
Children have their own vulnerabilities, but are much more capable than mice of enjoying the natural world without threat. May Violet & Jobie’s humble experience be an inspiration to them.
Overall Rating: 4.25
Worldview/moral value: 3.5
Artistic/literary value: 4.5
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Also at Redeemed Reader:
Resource: See our booklist of Our Favorite Mice!
Reviews: Books to inspire kids to get outside and experience nature for themselves: The Double Dangerous Book for Boys, How to Be a World Explorer, and Outdoor School: Hiking and Camping.
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