Continuing in the theme of Beverly Cleary’s works from the last article, the topic for this article is “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” and how it calls attention to the inner workings of a child’s mentality.
In “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” a boy and his family visit a motel while on a road trip. While at the motel, the boy meets a mouse named Ralph who had fallen into a garbage bin while riding the boy’s motorcycle.
The fact that he is able to understand the mouse doesn’t faze the boy much. He appears a little surprised when Ralph began talking, but as the mouse talked about his love for motorcycles, there were no more questions. Both boy and mouse had found a kinship in their common interest.
Interestingly enough, this method is common for young children, whether in classrooms or outside of school, to make friends. Once a common interest is established, it forges a bond, which is usually the first step to a great friendship.
Though the mouse, Ralph, was able to talk, the focus of the story. The fact that Ralph was talking to the boy, Kevin, didn’t make a difference in the way the book functioned. Instead, it put the focus on what the mouse was saying.
The friendship between mouse and boy was the key point of the novel. It’s possible that a book like this, when read by a child, would help in the process of making friends. All children are different; some prefer a book to a human companion, but others might gain a little insight from Cleary’s teachings.
Until next time, dear reader.