Time to Go House



by Walter D. Edmonds

Published 1969

As a child, I loved this book.  Mom bought it forever ago at a library booksale, and I can remember being fascinated by the story and the delicate line drawings that illustrate it.

Time to Go House is the tale of a young field mouse, Smalleata (seriously, is that the cutest name for a mouse or what?!) who, with her (large, extended) family travels to the human house to spend the winter.  Since Smalleata was just born that spring, this is her first time to go house.  The way is fraught with peril, and even in the house (with the humans gone, presumably south, for the season) can be dangerous.  Smalleata’s first friend is a young (handsome) house mouse.  Romance blossoms.

The story is simple and charming, and yet akin to those true classics like Bambi (the book, not Disney’s prettified animated version), humanizes animals only by giving them voice, not by taking away their animal nature.  Thus, there is some violence in this book (although not graphic, of course), especially when the weasels get in.

I do believe that this book is out of print and probably not readily available (obviously my library doesn’t have a copy any more… they discarded it about twenty years ago, lol), but if you happen to come across it, I do recommend it.  4/5.