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A Civics Lesson From Some Mice

House Mouse - Senate Mouse --

Elwood could identify with those who said they would rather have a root canal than prepare their income taxes. When a segment on the proposed Bush tax cut aired on the nightly news, Elwood said, to no one in particular, "I wish someone would figure out how to get a bill signed into law that would make income tax forms easier to understand."

Lucy, who had been helping Agnolia find the spinach, lettuce and pea seeds, said,

I know how to get a bill signed into law. Our teacher read us this really neat book, House Mouse - Senate Mouse which explains how to get a bill signed into law.

The book is about some mice in second grade who want a law about a national cheese. The mice write a letter to their Congressmice and to the Squeaker of the House. The Squeaker of the House talks to the Mouse-jority Leader. The mice draw up a bill. The bill goes to a Committee and then to the House and Senate. After the Senate and House pass the bill, it goes to the President who, in a place called "The Oval Office" signs the bill.

The book is all about mice, but our teacher said that real people elect Senators and Congressmen who do the same thing to get a bill made into a law.

Agnolia who had been listening to Lucy's story about the book House Mouse - Senate Mouse said, "Lucy, do you know who wrote the book?"

Lucy replied, "No, but the teacher said they wrote lots of books and that they have signed copies of their books at the bookstore."

The next day Agnolia stopped at the bookstore.

When Agnolia asked about House Mouse - Senate Mouse the clerk said,

House Mouse - Senate Mouse was written and illustrated by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes. The Barnes have written a lot of books for children. Some of their books are in Yankee Magazine's list of "100 Classic New England Children's Books."
Most of the Barnes' books use mice to explain important places and organizations. If you are planning a trip to Newport, Rhode Island you should read Cornelius Vandermouse - The Pride of Newport. Cornelius is a mouse who lives in his parents' home, The Breakers. Like Cornelius Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vandermouse sails and visits friends and relatives at other Newport mansions. If Lucy is interested in government, you might want to get Marshall, the Courthouse Mouse which is about the Supreme Court.

Agnolia, who had been looking at the illustrations in autographed copies of the books the clerk was describing, decided to purchase both Cornelius Vandermouse - The Pride of Newport and Marshall, the Courthouse Mouse.

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