When Little People Do Big Things (a review of Anonymouse)

Anonymouse by Caroline Rose Kraft is a cute story filled with darling pictures of a mouse, a post office box, and a lonely girl. The story is simple and charming enough to be grasped by younger children but filled with lessons your children will always remember.

Mr. Parsnip Peppersnatch lives with his wife Coriander in a post office box. One day he notices a lonely girl, Philippa, checking the box, and he becomes intrigued. Realizing that she is sad that she never gets any mail, he sets himself on a mission that leaves his wife to wonder, “Who is this brave, daring mouse-man, and where has my own timid husband scurried off to?”

He’s just a little mouse. What can he do?

The power behind Anonymouse comes in this question.

When you’re little, how can you fix a big problem? 

Luckily for Philippa, Parsnip found what he could do.

He could write a letter.

Stories with little characters — whether animals or people — touch all readers in a special place. Children struggle all the time with being too small — from reaching light switches to not being able to understand deeper concepts.

But when children read of smaller characters — human or animal — doing great things, it empowers them. When we read of the brave mouse Reepicheep rushing into battle in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, we find the courage to join the fight.

And surely this lesson of small people being able to do great things rings true because we see how God used small people throughout time. Yes, sometimes He uses the great and powerful, but over and over throughout the Bible, we see the little people being used by God to do great things.

From Joseph the slave raised to power, to young David defeating the giant Goliath, from a young girl becoming the mother of the Messiah, to a young boy with five loaves and 2 fish to a widow giving her last cent — we see over and over of how God uses the smallest of us to do big things.

But the beauty of Anonymouse continues with a small action, something anyone can do. A letter written to a lonely girl.

Doing great things doesn’t always mean great actions. We don’t have to see a giant fall or a miracle of epic proportions take place to do something life-changing.

Sometimes all we have to do is notice the sadness and take a little action.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we noticed the need around us and responded?

Anonymouse gently teaches children that we can make this world a better place by our small actions.

Mother Teresa is known for her work of lifting people out of poverty. When she gave advice on how to change the world, it wasn’t a huge plan filled with many action steps. She simply said,

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

Don’t forget that in Matthew 25:40, Jesus also said, “When you do this for the least, you do it for me.

In Anonymouse, the smallest mouse does a mighty act by being brave in his attempts to cheer up a young girl.

That’s the kind of story I want my girls to read. That’s the kind of lesson I want them to learn. In fact, that’s the kind of life I want them to live.

Buy Anonymouse and read it to your children, but then ask them what they want to do to change their world.P.S. If your children love stories about little folk, here are a few books to get you started.

1. The Littles

The Littles live in the walls of the Biggs’ house. But when the Biggs go on vacation, trouble begins. Mice! Cats! Will Tom and Lucy, the littlest Littles of all, be able to save the day?

2. Stuart Little

Stuart Little lives in New York City with his human parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. His best friend, a bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure, but will he find his friend?

3. The Mouse and the Motorcycle

A young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn. When Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph takes his chance. Together with Keith, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.

4. Tales of Larkin: Hawthorn’s Discovery

An inch-tall race of primitive woodland people known as Larkin struggle to stay alive battling both hungry predators and vengeful outcasts of their world known as Renegades. They are a small people with big enemies, but they are about to learn about an even bigger God.

5. Redwall 

What can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey do to defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats? Turns out nothing much can stop these small mice.

6. The Green Ember

Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

7. Bella’s Broken Leg

When the call comes in, everyone in 911 Headquarters springs to action, including young Zoe. They must rescue a young girl who has fallen and get her to the hospital safely. Written by an EMT and a fiction writer, Bella’s Broken Leg weaves an unforgettable and exciting story with basic principles on what happens in an ambulance and information when assisting victims.

8. Anonymouse

Parsnip Peppersnatch is an unassuming mouse who resides in P. O. Box 12. Every night he scavenges for food, but he’s always careful to get home before the people come! If there’s one thing Parsnip simply cannot bear, it’s people! Eek! But one day, Parsnip sees a small person who looks very sad. Suddenly he finds himself involved in a scheme that will take courage, know-how and even a few anonymous letters!

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