Enormouse, by Angie Morgan, tells the story of a truly enormous mouse who lives with a family of much smaller mice. He is of course not the same as everybody else, which although at times very useful:
also leaves him feeling uncertain and different. Eventually his friend Tinymouse works out that Enormouse is not in fact a mouse at all – he’s a rat! The other mice all laugh at him. Poor Enormouse is shocked and upset, but decides he must go and live with his real family, who own a dirty lair filled with rotten banana skins and flies.
Filled with remorse, the other mice set off to go and find him and bring him home, but run into trouble on the way. The question is whether Enormouse can decide in time who his real family are.
The illustrations in this book are fun and lively, conveying real character, and the touches of realism in the photographs in the rat book and the food in the rats den are reminiscent of Lauren Child. Angie Morgan does a good job of pulling you into the story through the appeal of the illustrated characters. The story is told clearly and sensitively with just enough detail to lift the language but not so much that the narrative is disrupted.
If I have a criticism it’s that the story is a bit predictable. Perhaps it may be less so to young children who are not as familiar with how these things turn out, but it is clear from the beginning how the story will progress. That said, it is a very encouraging story about difference and about feeling accepted, with a nice message about home not necessarily being with people who look most like you. I could see it being useful to explore the issues surrounding adoption and what makes a family.
If you are specifically looking for a book about difference and fitting in, this could be a good example to use.