Dec 22,2006 00:00
Bend Weekly News Sources
Unlikely Bond Between Cat and Mouse Teaches Scandinavian Culture, Friendship and Problem Solving
WARRENTON, Ore. – Author Joanne S. Hellberg and illustrator Marilyn Floyd bring children the endearing tale of a Norwegian mouse’s friendship with a Finnish cat in Thomas S. Tucker, Norwegian Mouse (now available through AuthorHouse).
Thomas the mouse lives in Miss Dea’s beautiful yard and loves to play with his friend, Keisa Kitty. When the Sons and Daughters of Scandinavia have their parties, Keisa lets Thomas ride on her back to the party so that they can scavenge for crumbs and pickled herring that the people drop on the floor.
The two return to the yard after one such outing and fall into a satisfied slumber. When Miss Dea returns with Aunt Nancy, however, Aunt Nancy sees Thomas and begins to scream. In a panic, Thomas gets his tail stuck on the silver buckle on Aunt Nancy’s shoe, and rips the buckle off as he runs off to his house.
Thomas admires the buckle, and wonders whether he should keep it for himself or return it to Aunt Nancy. Readers are left to contemplate the often complex concepts of right and wrong and whether Thomas will make the right decision.
Throughout the story, Hellberg introduces children to many traditions of Scandinavian culture, enhanced by Floyd’s beautiful and detailed illustrations of Thomas and Keisa’s adventures.
Hellberg was born and raised in Portland, Ore. She holds a bachelor and master’s degree in education from Western Oregon State University. Hellberg taught school for 33 years, specializing in reading disorders and learning disabilities. Hellberg currently resides in Warrenton, Ore., with her husband and volunteers as an educational surrogate for the State of Oregon Circuit Court. She has two sons and two grandchildren.
Floyd holds a bachelor’s degree in art education from Oregon State University. She taught visual arts to kindergarten through community college classes for 25 years. She also sells watercolor paintings and donates many of them to school auctions. Floyd has two daughters and three grandchildren and lives with her husband near Astoria, Ore.