Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sylvester, The Mouse with the Musical Ear

Sylvester, The Mouse with the Musical Ear
by Adelaide Holl
illustrated by N.M. Bodecker
out of print, available here

I picked this up at my favorite book store last night and read it to my sick little boy this morning.  And since I'm pretty busy today, wiping noses, playing with cars and trains, and trying to keep Tommy from flying Superman style off of the furniture, I'll keep this brief, mostly pictures with a quick synopsis.

Meet Sylvester.

Sylvester, a brown country mouse, lives in a grassy meadow and spends his days listeing to the lovely sounds all about him.

But his peaceful conservatory is soon invaded by sprawling suburbia, television antennas marching into the horizon.  Sylvester becomes just another city mouse, mired in a grimy world bereft of beauty.

But then chance brings him by a music store, and his days are once again filled with music, although of a different sort.  He makes his home in the hollow of a guitar, sleeping by day, making music by night.

One night, the store owner hears the guitar, playing on its own, or so it seems, Sylvester secreted in the shadows.

Word of the magical guitar travels far and wide, and one day Tex, a dusty cowboy hears of the guitar and travels a long, long way to find it.

He buys the enchanted instrument and before long, Tex, the guitar, and sleeping Sylvester leave the city behind.  When night falls, Tex settles among the prairie grass, gazing at the stars.

Sylvester awakens to the lost but not forgotten sounds of the country side, and joins in with his plinking on the guitar.  Tex and Sylvester travel far and wide together, but no matter where their travels take them, they always have their music.


  1. Hope Tommy feels better soon! And by the way, that book website is truly dangerous. Free shipping on some books? Incredible! Thanks for the link!

  2. What a great book! I love both the story and the pics.

    Recently we've read The Wump World (Bill Pete) and The Lorax (Dr Seuss) and neither of them turns out this well. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. What a great story! I love the illustrations, particularly Tex's skinny legs. ;-) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, my. This is one of the rare times that I see a book and just KNOW that I had that as a little girl. It's a lovely and rare feeling. As soon as I saw the picture of Tex, I knew that this was on my bookshelf. Thank you! I tend to like Ms. Holl, anyway. I think I'll put this on my children's shelf - off to buy!
    Ring true,

  5. Where do you find all these lovely ol picture books?

  6. Thrift stores and used book stores. My favorite book store has a sale twice a year, a huge sale, when they dump thousands of childrens' books for forty cents a pop. And because the "older" books don't sell as well as the new ones, these kind of books go into the sale. That is when I pick up the bulk of my oldies. But I generally can find at least one good oldie every week or so.