Friday, July 27, 2018

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Title: The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Author: Beverly Cleary
Read by: William Roberts
Publisher: Random House
Length: Approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes
Source: Kewaunee Public Library

We are participating in the Family Reading Challenge at our local library, Kewaunee Public Library.  With kids ages 12, 9, and 7, the best way for our entire family to read together this summer is to listen to audiobooks on our road trips.  The Mouse and the Motorcycle was a selection on our library list and I thought it was a book the kids would enjoy.  I remember enjoying a teacher reading it to my class back in elementary school.  My husband Ben had not read the book before.

Ralph is a mouse living with his family on the second floor of an old hotel in California.  One day a middle size boy, Keith, and his family come to visit.  Keith can understand Ralph and is the best thing that has ever happened for Ralph as number one, he has a motorcycle that Ralph can drive around the hotel and two, he provides “room service” to the mice when he brings up food from his meals for the mice.  After Keith gets sick and his parents can’t get him any medicine, will Ralph be able to save the day?

The entire family enjoyed The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  Ben and I laughed at the very accurate descriptions of the messes different size children leave that would be tempting for mice.  Times have not changed in that regards since the book was written in 1965.  It was interesting though how when Keith got sick that in 1965 at night, there is no solution with no stores being open to obtain medicine.  While in my little town there are no 24-hour stores, I could drive 20 minutes and find one.  Also, they wanted to give Keith aspirin, which is now known to be something you don’t give kids as they could get the fatal Reye’s syndrome. Two children died in my small Michigan home town of Reye’s syndrome in the 1980s.

For the kids, they just really loved the adventure and mishaps of Ralph on his motorcycle.  I know there are two more books in the series and we may have to check them out!  I am hoping the kids don’t get any ideas about keeping a pet mouse now . . .

William Roberts was a great narrator and we all enjoyed his sounds effects for the motorcycle and the ambulance.  It was a fun book to listen to on our journey.

Overall, The Mouse and the Motorcycle was a good family audiobook to listen to on our long drive.  It was entertaining for both parents and our kids ages 7 to 12 with one girl and two boys.


  1. It's been forever since I've read this book, or any other Beverley Cleary for that matter. But I sure loved her books as a kid. :)

  2. This sounds like a good family choice. We have enjoyed other books by this author. Lovely review, Laura!

  3. Thank-you both! I loved her books as a kid as well. I sadly haven't been able to get my kids to read too many of her novels yet, but I think they would love to listen to more of Ralph's adventures!