Summary: "Boy!" said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. "Boy, oh boy!" Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right.
Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcycle ... almost anything can happen! -- Harper Collins
Yesterday afternoon, the Mother Daughter Book Club met to discuss THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE by Beverly Cleary. We only had five girls and their mothers attend this meeting, but the discussion among the girls was still very good. All but one of the girls enjoyed the story which definitely helps to keep the conversation moving. A few of the girls brought their own questions; and the mothers were actually included in the meeting this time. I, for one, was extremely grateful that I could listen in on their thoughts about the book.
The girls had a great time talking about their favorite parts of the book. They all agreed that their favorite character was the mouse, Ralph. They thought he was funny as well as daring and always "up for a little excitement." They also really liked that they book had so many exciting moments. Most of the girls liked the parts with the mouse and the dog in addition to the pillowcase scene. I thought section with Ralph and the vacuum cleaner was pretty darn funny too!
Towards the end of the meeting, I tried to get the girls to compare Keith and Ralph's mothers. They did a great job pointing out some of the things they had in common, especially their worrying nature. In addition, they thought it was funny that Ralph's mom was worried about people while Keith's mom was worried about mice.
I asked the girls if they knew what a "theme" was, and one of the girls gave a pretty good answer. I then asked them if they could name any themes from this book. With a little prompting, they began to talk about friendship. They proceeded to talk about all the things that Keith did for Ralph and the things that Ralph did for Keith in the name of friendship. I'm not sure if I did a good job of explaining the concept of themes in books, but I figure it's a good start!
For our October meeting, the girls had their choice of four books instead of the usual two. They quickly narrowed their decision down to BED-KNOB AND BROOMSTICK by Mary Norton. I have never read this book, but I do remember the movie that came out when I was a child. I think this book looks terrific and I'm anxious to read it; but I'm a little worried about the length -- it's 240 pages. When I came home and began researching this book, I found it very interesting that Ms. Norton is also the author of the Borrowers novels.