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Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse



Last updated Friday, April 1, 2011

Author: Leo Lionni
Date of Publication: 1969
ISBN: 0394809149
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2011

Synopsis: Everyone loves Willy the wind-up mouse, while Alexander the real mouse is chased away with brooms and mousetraps. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be loved and cuddled, thinks Alexander, and he wishes he could be a wind-up mouse too. In this gentle fable about a real mouse and a mechanical mouse, Leo Lionni explores the magic of friendship.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What does the title of the book tell you? --What do you think the story is going to be about?
•  Who do you think Alexander is?
•  Have you ever had a mouse for a pet? --What was his and/or her name?
•  Have you ever had any type of a wind up toy?

Vocabulary
•  SQUEAK -- a short shrill cry or high-pitched sound.
•  VAIN -- inordinately proud of one's appearance, possessions, or achievements.
•  MYSTERIOUSLY -- characterized by or indicative of mystery…puzzling, curious, or enigmatic
•  ENVY -- a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another. The desire to have for oneself something possessed by another.
•  QUIVERING -- to shake with a rapid tremulous movement; tremble. The state, process, or noise of shaking or trembling
•  SIGHED -- to let out one's breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief. To yearn or long; pine. To make a sound suggesting a sigh: sighing wind.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How do think Alex felt when Willy came into the picture? --The homeowners are frightened of Alex, but the love Willy right away.
•  What do you think Alex is going to wish for when given the opportunity?
•  Do you know of any other story where making a wish was involved in the story?

Craft ideas:
•  HOW TO DRAW A MOUSE -- See Reading to Kids’ Blog for instructions
•  MOUSE MASK -- See Reading to Kids’ Blog for template
•  DRAW A LIZZARD

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!