This Mouse Has a House and This Kid Has a Heart!

I’m afraid it’s been confirmed that I have a lifelong case of, as the kids call it these days, “The Feels.”

This House Needs a Mouse

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(You saw what I did there, right? Photo of me on a merry-go-round. Photo of Scarlet on a merry-go-round. Whee!)

Call it genetics. Call it environment. Call it both and more, but a case of “The Feels” involves many strange & unusual happenings throughout your life regarding TV, movies, and books: (And MANY other things but that’s a story for another day)

1. You may cry yourself to sleep every night for two weeks from reading “Where the Red Fern Grows.” Or a sad Babysitter’s Club book. Take your pick with that one. When Claudia’s grandmother died.. SOB. When Kristy’s dog, Louie, died.. MAN.
2. You may run out of the classroom crying into your shirt during a movie viewing of “Where the Red Fern Grows.”
3. When you have “The Feels” there are movies and TV shows you can never watch. Never. And don’t even try it.
4. Your imagination and emotions will always be so big that you will think you’re in love with every movie and TV character (ok, and real life people too) who have the right kind of smile, and the right kind of charisma. Surprisingly, not many do. (in real life too)
5. You will cry every time you watch the “Jurassic Bark” episode of Futurama, and you will cry every time you read the book, I’ll Always Love You which is about Elfie the dog. It’s not that somewhat creepy Love You Forever book. And it will almost become a joke in your family because you can read it every day, and think you’re immune, but still your voice will break during the last few pages, and your daughter will check your eyes for tears. Which she will find.
6. Don’t get me started on Marvin’s Room, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or Life is Beautiful..
7...or the racism episode of “Family Matters.” Oh heck, the episode where Urkel professes his love to Laura as well.

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Shall I go on? No, I think I shouldn’t. As a person with a chronic case of “The Feels” it’s always so.. heartbreaking, amazing, sad, happy, everything to see my kids get big feelings from things. For awhile I thought that Des was like me – highly sensitive to everything, and that Scarlet was like Cassidy – so darn cool and resilient, but the truth is that we are all a big mess of everything. Des is also darn cool & resilient. Scarlet is a deep thinker & feeler. They aren’t pigeon-holed or narrowed into one way of being. They are interesting kids for sure, and it’s a gift to me to see how easily they can catch constant waves of happiness in this life. And it doesn’t surprise me to hear what their hearts express from situations, people, movies and books.

Especially books.

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Des was too busy putting Matchbox cars down Ariel’s underwater castle’s slide during the first reading of This House Needs a Mouse to give a good review, but after the second reading, he shouted out, “YAY!” That’s a glowing review from him.

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The book is aimed at 3 to 8 year olds, though, so it was a bit more fun to read it to Scarlet as she leaned on my shoulder and we got “The Feels” together. It was so much fun to see what she took from the story! This House Needs a Mouse is a beautiful and colorfully illustrated children’s tale about a very extraordinary mouse in a rather ordinary house. He seeks a big life outside of his pet shop life, with the dirty and lazy fellow mice that he cannot relate to, and he finds himself experiencing a different life with two families. There are actually three families in this book, but.. SPOILERS. This book is not just meant to read to your child – it has a clever way of using language to teach young readers and writers. I’m a sucker for alliteration.

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(Pardon Des’ annoyed expression. He usually likes alliteration like the best of them too.)

I have always loved children’s books, but it’s a whole new adventure when I’m exploring them with my own kids. I especially love a book with a compelling story, well-drawn pictures or well-taken photos, and I also love the ability of a writer to make the characters come alive. Scarlet wasn’t silent after I finished reading the book. She appreciated the happy ending of the book, but it stuck a lot in her heart that the mouse was left alone at one point, because he loved the house and wouldn’t leave it even after his first family had outgrown the house and had moved. Scarlet thought the book wasn’t truly happy because she was sad for the mouse. Have no fear – the mouse does pretty well for himself – but I love that she picked up on how things really aren’t all good, or all bad. They just are. Life can be a painful and scary experience at times.

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After her major questions about the well-being of the mouse (I LOVE her heart), she then peppered me with many other questions. Good ones, too. Except for, “Does our house need a mouse too?” It doesn’t. At all.

We have pets. They take care of crumbs. (boy do they) The book comes so alive, though, that even if you don’t like mice and you may even shriek or cringe a bit in your presence, you will want THIS mouse. He’s irresistible.

I received a copy of This House Needs a Mouse for review, and because I have a kindergartener who is learning to read and we like to devour books together! All opinions are (clearly) my own. This House Needs a Mouse is available now on the book’s website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Big Tent Books.”

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What books, TV shows or movies have given you “The Feels”?

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  1. Well, you already know our house doesn’t need a mouse either, but that didn’t stop the girls from asking after we read it his book, too. Oh and shake my hand on the crying, as I still totally remember that Babysitter’s Club Book and ba led my eyes out, too.

        1. I could never be a librarian because I would just cry while reading books to children! And everybody would know me as the woman who cries while reading books to children.

    1. I just think it’s funny that I cried harder at “Family Matters than any other show. It was a sitcom! And don’t get me started on the one in which their long-lost grandfather appeared.

  2. I love being able to share books and stories with my boys and seeing how the stories come alive in their minds. It’s really amazing. And this sounds like a lovely book to share with the kids. So many great books and movies give me the feels. I’m kind of looking for another book to read and would love suggestions!

  3. Ok, my heart seriously just swelled! So many feels! I thought I was the only one that had to leave the room during Where The Red Fern Grows. I still have to leave the room when Mufasa dies and when Dumbo’s mother swings him on her trunk from inside the jail car. I still remember having a soaking wet pillow as I read The One Eyed Cat.

    By the way, I see so much of you in Scarlet! It’s amazing! Also, we read this book as well and it is a fabulous story!

    1. I watched Dumbo pretty recently and it nearly wrecked me. And I still remember a book the librarian read to us about an old woman and a chicken who dies, but leaves her hatching eggs. I could not cope for days. Sometimes still.

  4. Oh, so cute. I love the pics of you on the carousel, Tamara! So sweet. The book looks and sounds very sweet, too. Love the pic of the kids reading 🙂 The feels? I still have a bad case of them. Wish I could turn it off sometimes. They even get me in my sleep via dreams.

  5. I get the “Feels” too. I can barely turn on the news without crying. My kids will say to me, why are you crying, you don’t even know that person? I say, you’ll understand when you’re a mother or a father. You’ll feel other people’s pain.

    You’re going to laugh, but I love that Love You Forever book. I don’t find it creepy at all, although I know other people do. I cry every single time I read it. I think it just shows how a mother will love her child forever and ever, no matter how old he gets to be. Anyway…the carousel photos are awesome. You look so much alike….what fun it will be for Scarlet to look back at those pictures when she is older!

    1. I won’t laugh! Most people love that book. He is one of my uncle’s favorite authors and that is the one book my uncle doesn’t like. It’s not very creepy, but it’s just not my favorite.
      I cried watching the news all last week.

  6. I think Janine talked a little bit about it and now I definitely think JR would enjoy it…maybe when a little later on next year though since he turns 3 in April. He likes books but his attention span can be short depending on the type of book. Sounds like that might be why it says 3-8 years old. 🙂 I love that you shared the similarities between you and the kids and the picture at the beginning of you and Scarlet riding the merry go round!

    1. Des could sit through it once, but I don’t know that he understood a second of it!
      My mom sent me that photo last night and I knew I had one just like it of Scarlet.

  7. I have a lifetime case of “the feels” as well. I can barely get through the tv show “Parenthood” without balling every single week. It may be a good thing that this is the last season…although that makes me so, so sad. Anyway, I’m also reviewing this book and I loved reading it. I have yet to give it to the boys because I want to catch their reactions as they happen. They move very fast…as you know!!
    Love the pictures of the carousel – I wish I had something like this with me and then the boys. Precious!!

    1. Parenthood! I feel the same way. I loved the movie a lot so I watch the show too. I didn’t think it was that good until the second season or so.

  8. While I can be emotional I think the military has taken a lot of the “feels” out of me. I do get teary eyed when watching some movies and reading some books because they do pull at your heart strings. This House Needs a Mouse sounds like a truly delightful book and while we don’t need a mouse, it would be nice to have the book. Madison is a big fan of books and would bring books always to my room to read to her. I can picture her now engrossed in her book just like Des and Scarlet is. Here’s to an amazing week for you and the family.

    1. Thank you! The week is calling for two snowstorms, but it could wind up being zero. I kind of need a break so I wouldn’t mind one!
      I am imagine that “the feels” are still there, even if they get muffled.

  9. Wow, Des looks so big! I know that you haven’t loved the haircut, but he looks like such a little boy!!
    Lovely book review. In the last couple months Eve hasn’t started showing interest in books and less wiggling around when I try to read to her. (Ok, there still some of that!) I think it’s going to be so much fun to read to her when’s she’s older and more interactive, and this looks like a lovely book.

    1. She will probably get back into books, I imagine!
      Today was the first day that I looked at him and even somewhat liked the haircut. It usually takes a week or two to grow into what it is, then you realize that it is more even and neat than it was. He does look grown-up!

  10. sounds like a really cute book – I love the time when the little ones are learning to read – great moments.

    two movies that come to mind that would make me cry no matter what – are “The Champ” and “West Side Story.”

  11. I absolutely LOVE the carousel pictures!! I guess I too have a case of “the feels”. I even had a “feels” attack this morning… oh Twitter. Anyway, I loved your book review. I’ve read another book review on this very book, and I was already interested, now, I’m feeling like I’m missing out on This House Needs a House party 🙂

  12. With a house full of females, we pretty much have “The Feels” going on all the time. When we went to see Les Mis last year, we all cried. And my husband was looking at us like we were crazy. Come on, how do you not cry at Les Mis??

    1. I was watching something with Cassidy a few weeks ago while he was sick. I looked over and he had tears streaming out of his eyes. We were not even watching anything sad so I was very confused. I found out later that it was part of his virus. Still pretty funny!

    1. Knock on wood, but we have never had a mouse here! I can’t even believe it. We definitely had one in our old house and I watched our old dog leap into the air and then trap it.

  13. I get the feels too – and my kids think it’s hilarious. For instance, The Goldbergs – very funny show I watch with the kids, but it always makes me cry at the end. The kids wait for it. Last week Hunter actually said, “Oh, no. Here it comes!” And all four turn to watch me cry at the “family moment” at the end of each episode. Books – all the time. And children’s books – I lost it once in a second grade classroom, reading the Polar Express out loud.

  14. I can’t look at, think of, or read “I’ll always love you” without thinking about your face when you read it. I had to try to read it to a group of cub scouts, and thankfully my 8 year old reads well, and with the right emotion in his tone so he finished it for me.

    1. Your house was the house I first read it at!
      About seven years ago or so, Jessica sent me it when I lived in San Francisco. She had found it at a bookstore and that’s why we have it now. I can’t read it without losing it.

  15. I definitely get the feels a lot – I think I break into tears at least a few times a day! Sharing books you love with your kids as they get older is one of the greatest parts of parenting!

  16. The first book that had given me the “The Feels” was “The Pokey Little Puppy” The long made for tv cartoon “Gulliver’s Travels” also did that. What gave me the most deeply emotional “feel” was the episode of Davey And Goliath when poor Davey lost his grandmother suddenly on Holy Thursday after spending the day before with her. All these years later I still can’t get through that hour long episode that every few years airs at Easter without tears running down my pale little cheeks.

  17. What a great past and present comparison set of photos! Very cute!!! I love the repetition in this book but haven’t actually read the whole thing LOL. My husband read it once to our son who didn’t find it all that interesting. Oh well! Kids!

  18. Yay, another BSC fan lol! We owned so many of these books that got passed down from sister to sister and cousin to cousin. I don’t remember those scenes though with Claudia or the the dog!

    My kid got all ‘question-y’ too about the part where the family leaves. I guess that mouse really loved that house! lol

    1. I couldn’t really understand why he didn’t go with them to their new house, right? But it was explained well.
      In one of the books, Claudia loses her beloved grandmother.

  19. Awe sounds like a great book and I love that you are sharing it with your kids. When ever I see your hear, I’ll Love You Forever, it will instantly bring tears to my eyes. I am living it right now with my mom. There are actually a ton of movies that make me emotional.

  20. I cry easily. TV shows make me cry. Books make me cry. Life makes me cry. It freaks out my husband. He’s all, “Are you seriously crying?”

    1. That is funny!
      Last year I was reading that light between the oceans book. Cassidy walked upstairs and I was sobbing at my desk. He thought something was really wrong and I was trying to explain to him that it wasn’t that something was really wrong, but that the book made me cry as if something was really wrong. He got very confused.

  21. I enjoyed this review and how heart-felt Scarlet was about the mouse’s well-being! This book sounds irresistibly cute! I used to love reading children’s books! I used to write them when I was a kid. Oh the joys of childhood…

  22. If you have not read the children’s book “Someday”, please do it. The feels will be pouring like Niagra Falls. It’s a very special book I think every mother should give to her daughter. It’s so darn special.

  23. Dang, in this past week alone I can’t count how many things gave me The Feels. Every show, book, Facebook status, etc had me in tears it felt like. The show “Call the Midwife” had me weeping. NOT a good show to watch right before you get your period, if you’re extra emotional like I get. This book looks so cute and I love how enthralled your kids looked by it!

  24. Aw, I love that you have ‘the feels’, and this cute little nickname for it, that’s absolutely adorable 🙂

    Children’s books aren’t really my thing, but you’ve almost convinced me that I need to read this too!

  25. I love seeing books through my children’s eyes. Yes, I did get you on the carousel, then Scarlett. Both gorgeous girls. I’m typically on the other side of the spectrum, the anti-feels. I wish I could feel and a lot of the time I just feel numb. I noticed that in the last few weeks I’ve been a lot happier because I was openly laughing at shows, which is not common.

    1. Thanks! And in both photos, we’re next to my mom.
      I get the anti-feels too, which is weird because for me they’re usually a result of too many feels. I have to shut it down, I guess.

  26. I try to hold any case of “the feels” in, if I can. I used to practice a lot. I don’t have to hold our in anymore, but sometimes I still do.

    Nonetheless, reading through your post I was reminded of the first time I cried after reading a book. I was a pre-teen and reading a Jodi Picoult. The book really did give me a bad case of “the feels”.

    These days, I can get the feels watching or listening to Baby Boy play, seeing a beautiful sky, or simply getting a hug from a dear person. 🙂

    1. I used to always hold it in! Now I can’t seem to do it as well. Bah adulthood.
      Ok, so what Jodi book? She’s my favorite author.. or one of them. And I’ve definitely cried at her books. The only one I haven’t read yet is the new one.

  27. Oh, so many give me “the feels!” Forrest Gump, The Giving Tree, and Little House on the Prairie (the show) come to mind, but there are so many others. And commercials. The other day a friend posted a link on Facebook – it was a video of a stray dog who was hit by a car and cowering on the side of the road. She was rescued and fostered, so it was a happy ending – but I was crying the whole way through. Really crying – I used two tissues and my eyes were red and swollen. Ah, the feels.

  28. So many books – I think I cry during all Jodi Piccoult books, Nicholas Sparks….
    The movie that did me in the most was Pay it Forward. I didn’t think I was going to be able to walk out of the theater I was crying so much. The next one was PS I Love You (didn’t help that one of my friends I went to see that one with said she could totally see Chris doing the same things – I had already thought that). Those are 2 movies I will never rematch!!!

  29. The BSC Claudia leaving was worse than the feels, when you are a kid, those kinds of things are traumatizing — for me at least haha. Love Actually is one of my favorite movies to watch this time of year and it is notorious for giving me ALL the feels–good and bad.

  30. I am getting this, this week! Okay…. I seriously cried for 3 days after watching Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, Sleepers an the Joy Luck Club. My first viewing of ESOSM, I think may have been a mental breakdown of sorts…I lost the ability to function temporarily. I have seen them all again, and still cry before the triggers even happen!

    OOH yeah just saw above I was a mess in Pay it Forward too and that has a happier ending!

    1. I had a real reaction to ESOSM too. In fact, it’s my favorite movie of all time. You knew that, right? I get asked it sometimes for Ask Away Friday.
      I couldn’t speak after it, but it wasn’t tears. Just.. stunned silence.
      Joy Luck! Sigh. One of the few movies I personally think is as good as the book.
      Sleepers may be the one that gave me vicious nightmares.

  31. We did speak briefly about it before! We probably shouldn’t watch movies together LOL! Ok strange question. What is your sign? NO not hitting on you, don’t let Cassidy get excited. Bhaha. We are both ruled heavily by emotion. I envision you as a scorpio or pisces. I am a Cancer, or Cancerian????

  32. Off the top of my head I cannot think of a film (scene) that gave me ‘the feels’, but then again I have always been the very composed, in charge and control kind of person. Until I met my now husband 🙂 Now I can cry, if I feel like it.
    What is it about mice? I think they’re cute. o.k. I would not necessarily want to have one on the loose in my house, but… We actually had some (yes, more than one!) when we lived three months on Bonaire. Somehow they loved our house, so a few evenings we spent mouse hunting. They were so tiny and cute, we caught them and took them outside a few hundred yards away. I am sure they found their way back – oh well.
    Have you seen The secret of Kells? It is an animated movie, which we saw Sunday on Amazon Prime – I thought the drawings were amazing!

    1. I’ve never seen it but I’ve heard of it! Perhaps I should tune in to that one. With a box of tissues?
      I think mice are cute too, but when they’re in my space, I can’t handle them. We have never had one in this house, but we had one or two in our old house.

  33. OMG, I cannot believe you brought up The Babysitter’s Club. can you believe that my dad found my BC books this weekend and brought them to me so Amberly could read them? He also found me a DVD of the movie. Then you bring it up. Insane!!! I want to read that book!

  34. What a beautiful heart. Abby is a feeler, no not me(!), she recently came out of her room in tears from this beautiful book she is reading, the Princess and the Foal. She cannot put the book down, which fills my reader’s heart with joy!

  35. This House Needs a Mouse sounds like such a sweet book! Steel Magnolias gives me “The Feels” big time. Even though I know what’s going to happen, the ending always hurts so much.

  36. A very powerful story of something that most people wouldn’t really want in their house. Yeah, I wouldn’t want a mouse in the house but I love your review and Scarlet’s input and thoughts about it. Win!

  37. I can be pretty sensitive too when it comes to sad books, movies or television shows. That book sounds like a pretty good read for kids. Thanks for sharing your review. Have a terrific day!

  38. I loved The Babysitter Club series too when I was kid. I understand you getting “The Feels” sometimes when I read a book I can’t stop thinking about the characters. I will avoid books if I know the subject is too heavy. I feel like I have to spare myself from dealing with those emotions. Especially now that I have kids. I try not to watch, listen to, or read anything that will make me really sad. Last week I had one of those days where I took in too much bad news. All of the news about Michael Brown, the guy from New York, the kid in Cleavland, and then I started watching a documentary on Nextfix that was gloomy too. Which caused me to be sad for half a day.I hate feeling down, so I just try my best to avoid a lot of heavy stuff at once.

    1. The news about Michael Brown really upset me a lot. The news about Eric Garner tore me apart even worse. Every day, this country is making things worse. I can’t even watch the news. But then I have to to be well-informed.

  39. The pictures of Scarlet and Des perusing the book together are adorable. So precious.
    Certain movies elicit deep emotions and reactions. Beaches always give me the “feels,” even though I’ve watched it numerous times.

  40. I had not heard of The House Needs A Mouse until now. I’m all too familiar with Where A Red Fern Grows – I own it. Good “feels” Tamara 🙂

  41. Second review I’ve read on this book this week! The storyline sounds very interesting….but I do have concerns that my girls would suddenly believe that our house needs a mouse as well. And well, we really don’t. The Feels can be wonderful and terrible, can’t they? It’s all good when it’s about the happy tears, but man the sad stuff can just seem overwhelming, right?

  42. 1. I want Des to develop his own clothing line, and I will buy every piece. Oh, in my size, please. Another sweet shirt there, kid.

    2. The feels are best shared. Elise got teary every time we read a Jetsons book in which they considered replacing Rosey. Even with a happy ending, the sad part is on a page forever. So, Scarlet, I get it.

    3. As a feeler who is a dude, it’s at times inconvenient. But I’d rather feel than not. The highs are so worth the lows.

  43. I emote. a lot. it’s what we fangirls do. Some may laugh at me for getting weepy at such tag lines as “I’m with you till the end of the line.” but I am sorry, if you don’t get emotional over Steve Rogers losing, finding and losing his best buddy Bucky, I just can’t with you! ha More to the point, I don’t even want to lose that. I think it’s something special; to feel deeply like that. To connect to your own heart; and another’s.
    This book looks really good – my daughters would love it.

    1. I guess I can’t even relate to people who don’t get emotional! I think most of the people I know do. It might even not be easy, but there’s always something that will get them! It gets us all!

  44. Thank you so much for such a wonderful, kind review! I love the pics of your kids reading the book… so satisfying for me as a children’s author! And I really love that you get the message that life isn’t all good or bad… it just is! A very Happy Holiday Season to you and your family! Say a very special Holiday “Hello” to your kids from me! And, I have to say, I am a sucker for sad movies! I love the “feels.” C. Jeffrey Nunnally

    1. A very happy holiday to you too!
      I will certainly pass along your message to my kids and I think it would make them very happy. As it stands, they ask me to read your book twice a day.
      So you’re a superhero to them.


    Seriously…the most traumatic (AND BEST) book of my childhood. It was so good that I bought it for my dad for Christmas and made him read it. It was so good that I was bawling in class and when it was my turn to cry I mean read aloud, I was sobbing through it. Why did the teacher let me read like that? Bitch. jk?

    Seriously, you bringing that book up just reinforces my love for you. That book killed me. UGH. I’m so heartbroken just thinking about it. Perfect title, isn’t it? UGH.

    I loved your Scarlet side by side…!

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