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The White-Footed Mouse

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About this book

A boy is sure he has the world’s best father, an outdoorsman who shows him the hiding places of ground-nesting birds and teaches him to paddle a canoe and handle a rifle safely. “Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot,” his father teaches him, “and don’t kill anything you don’t intend to eat.”

When he’s eight years old, he’s finally allowed to go to hunting camp with his father. They climb through dark woods to the ice-cold camp, where Dad starts a fire in the stove. A few minutes later a tiny, shivering white-footed mouse emerges from his nest to share the warmth of the stovepipe. The boy feeds him a bit of cheese, and sees that the mouse trusts him. Later, when his father begins to bait a mouse trap, the boy wittingly reminds his Dad of the lesson he had taught him.

The White-Footed Mouse is Willem Lange’s and Bert Dodson’s latest collaboration, a delightfully illustrated parable for lovers of nature and the great outdoors and for kids who want to keep their Dads in line.

What others are saying…

“When I was a 15-year-old kid, Will arrived in our tiny Adirondack Mountain town. It was the beginning of an enduring and profound friendship. Over fifty years we’ve paddled, climbed, hunted, and fished together, and listened to each other. This story is Will at his best: a man, a boy, and a mouse in a camp together, a tender story of respect and caring for one another in the most important ways.”

– Baird Edmonds, retired designer, contractor and outdoorsman

“Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, the story has lessons for us all. Though written for youth, it’s one that every parent and grandparent will treasure. It’s destined to become a classic that future generations will enjoy and learn from.”

– Gary Moore, Syndicated Columnist, Broadcaster and former Vermont Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife

About the illustrator

Bert Dodson

Bert Dodson is a painter, teacher, author and illustrator. He has illustrated over 80 books for children. He is the author of Keys To Drawing (North Light Books, 1985), Keys to Drawing with Imagination, (2006) and NUKE A Book of Cartoons, vols. I and II. (McFarland and Co., 1986 and 1988).He co-authored, with noted biologist, Mahlon Hoagland, The Way Life Works (Times Books, 1995), and Intimate Strangers; The Story of Unseen Life on Earth (ASM Press, 1999, Needam, et all). He was animation designer for the four part PBS television series, Intimate Strangers (1998). He illustrated over 30 opera stories for children, a series commissioned by The New York Metropolitan Opera.His work appears in Vermont Life, Northern Woodlands, and Dartmouth Medicine. He regularly exhibits his watercolors and drawings. He has drawn and painted over 200 portraits. He lives in West Fairlee, Vermont, and works in his studio in Bradford, Vermont.

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An excerpt from The White-Footed Mouse
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We sat in front of the stove warming our hands and eating
cheese and crackers.

All of a sudden Dad said, "Look up!  To your right!"

I looked.  A little white-footed mouse was walking along the
top of the wall in the angle just below the roof.

He walked until he came to the spot right above where the
stovepipe went through the wall. Dad had installed the pipe
with a piece of clay tile packed with concrete.  It was
always warm when the stove was going, but it never got hot.

The mouse slowly put one foot down onto the pipe to test it.
Then he climbed onto it and lay down, with his long tail
curled over his nose. He was watching us, but didn't seem to
be afraid.