Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

Leo Lionni, Xosé Manuel González Barreiro (1969), Pantheon

Alexander is a lonely little mouse who is constantly batted away by the people around him – they do not want him in their house, even if all he wants are tiny crumbs of food. Then one day, Alexander meets a wind-up mouse, Willy, who is given special treatment because he’s one of Annie’s toys. Willy helps Alexander meet a magic lizard who can change Alexander into a wind-up mouse like he is. However, when Willy is set to be thrown away to make room for more toys, Alexander uses his chance with the magic lizard to turn Willy into a regular mouse instead.

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Talk with a child about this book

How do you think Alexander felt when the humans in the house screamed and batted him away with a broom when they saw him?

How do you think Willy felt when Annie put him in a box to be thrown away?

Do you think that Alexander’s experiences helped him understand what Willy was going through?

How were Alexander and Willy good friends to each other?

Alexander gave up his one wish to save Willy by turning him into a normal mouse. Why do you think Alexander did that?

Sometimes it can be hard to give up something that you want for someone else, but it lets the other person know that you really care about them. Can you think of a time when you gave up something for a friend?