The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Bevery Cleary
(Avon Books, 1990, 158 pages)
I loved The Mouse and the Motorcycle when I first read it… decades ago. I picked it up again to encourage my husband to get some practice reading to our first child (coming in December!). It was no Beezus and Ramona the second time around, but it was still fun to revisit the book. We’re introduced to Ralph the mouse in a small California motel after Keith and his parents decide to stay there on their road trip. Keith gets his own room and while he’s out Ralph notices his collection of toy cars, but it’s a toy motorcycle that catches his eye. Once Ralph discovers the freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle he begins to question the confines of his life, which up to this point has been limited to the second floor of the motel.
Ralph and Keith both wish they could grow up faster, but a surprising friendship forms between the two as they bond over their love for a toy motorcycle. Ralph gets himself in lots of trouble along the way, but he learns about responsibility and maturity in the process.