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I just spent the last 5 hours browsing through google, pinterest, and eBay in an attempt to find a beautifully illustrated book I loved as a child. I remember what it is generally about, but I have not the slightest recollection of any names (title, author, illustrator, publisher, characters). I do remember that the edition we owned was hardcover and roughly 12 by 9.5 by 0.5 inches.

The story begins with a mouse in a speedster (possibly red) driving through the country one morning by a lake town. The mouse's automobile is rather loud and disturbs the locals who are trying to sleep. One of the mouse's tires is punctured by a nail/nails and he is stranded in that town(?) for the remainder of the book until the end where if I remember correctly he finally gets a new tire and leaves.

I remember that a white cat lets him stay with her (she wears victorian dresses and expensive necklaces of pearls and perhaps jewels). And there is a white goat who owned some sort of grocery store (I remember him on a ladder either putting things away or trying to reach something, and my sister remembers a scene where he is trying not to sneeze—probably the same scene). There is a dog whom my mother remembers being the handyman (possibly for the boat) and thinks was named Billy. I also have distinct scenes in my mind: one of the mouse somehow falling into the lake(?) and having to dry off with a towel, one of the goat laughing, one of the goat and cat having a glass of wine at night (I think they are discussing the mouse leaving and they are sad because they've grown fond of him), one of the white cat being swung around in a waltz at some celebration (possibly by the captain).

The illustrations were very distinct. The style is similar to the images I have attached, however, I remember them being much more anthropomorphic and facially expressive.

My deepest thank to anyone who manages to find out what book this is.

from "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse" illustrated by Don Daly?

from "The Wind in the Willows" illustrated by Chris Dunn

  • Welcome to Literature Stack Exchange. There's already a good detail about the story, but could you also mention around what year did you read this story? Also, just to ensure, is the story in English? – Andrew T. Jul 17 at 8:19
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    I remember us having the story as far back as 2004 (when I was 10yrs old), but we probably had it some time before that as well. My parents may have purchased it anywhere from the mid-80's through the 90's, though that is not necessarily an indication of the initial publication date. The motorcar in the story reminds me of the one usually depicted as being driven by Toad in "The Wind and the Willows" (i.e. 1900-1920's style). I remember there being a steam boat in the story as well. And yes, the story was in english. – Peter Jul 17 at 15:17
  • I talked with my Dad recently and he said that they would have purchased the book new. So it would have been in print anywhere from the late 80's to the early 2000's. – Peter Jul 22 at 16:55
  • Also, two other books we owned at the time that were generally of the same size as the book I'm asking about and which for some reason I associate with it were: "The Wind in the Willows" illustrated by Don Daily & "The Mice and the Flying Basket" by Rodney Peppé – Peter Jul 22 at 16:56
  • The Brambly Hedge books, perhaps? .I never read them, but they were published in the 1980s, had very detailed illustrations, and were hugely popular. – Mick Jul 24 at 15:58
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This has been bugging me as I vaguely recall this story from my own childhood and I'd have read it early to mid 1980s.

After some googling I found it. Its The Jeremy Mouse Book by Patricia Scarry.

I can't find a synopsis online but found this review on Amazon which fits with the beginning of the story:

I received this book as a Christmas present in 1970. It is my absolute favorite book. I can't get through too much of reading a bedtime story to myself without falling asleep and dreaming of Deep Pond. It is a perfect little children's story. I highly recommend it for small Grandchildren. It teaches the lessons of empathy, compassion and sense of community, especially for the little unexpected Mouse and his little red convertible sports car. He was not the most popular animal when he came speeding into town and blew his tire.

This is the cover of the book:

enter image description here

There's a copy Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/658913242/the-jeremy-mouse-book-1969-first-edition) which has pictures of the inside, the goat in the shop I remember:

enter image description here

  • YES!!! This is the book! THANK YOU!!! – Peter Aug 19 at 6:04
  • It's interesting to observe how much more detailed the illustrations appear to be in my childhood memories than they actually are. But I seem to have remembered correctly how expressive the faces were. – Peter Aug 19 at 6:15

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