Being a mouse mistress is a difficult job, and Hildegarde, who holds the position at St. Bartholemew’s church, has her hands full with the 199 mice she watches over. Some are friendly and cooperative, but others, like Lucretia, who wants the job herself, make her work harder. The church offers a variety of cozy and safe places to hide away from human sight while allowing the mice to enjoy the beautiful music and words spoken during services. Unfortunately, not all the mice are good at staying hidden and when someone sees them, the exterminator is called.
It is up to Hildegarde to find a way to evacuate the mice in a safe manner during the exterminator’s visit as well as to make sure none of them become victims of the horrible glue traps that will be in the church when the mice return. Hildegarde isn’t just smart, she is open to the good advice and ideas of her friends Roderick and Ignatious, and the three of them manage the situation as well as (or better than) any human could. This clever tale is highlighted with sketches by Eric Rohmann (writer and illustrator of the adorable picture book A Kitten Tale and the captivating fantasy picture book Clara and Asha) that include personality-capturing portraits of the mice characters on blue endpapers. Even the cats in the story are happy with the ending in this mouse tale – although no mice were eaten! Author Lois Lowry has been writing a variety of children’s and teen books for decades and with this title continues to entertain with a thoughtful story about cooperation, kindness, and faith.