Groundwood Books Imprint Logo


Written by Rémy Simard

Illustrated by Pierre Pratt

Translated by Shelley Tanaka

  • 64 Pages
  • 9781554984510
  • 9.5" x 7.5"
  • from grade K to grade 2
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, etc.
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Emotions & Feelings
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Friendship


Publication Date October 01, 2014

A little mouse and his friend, Gustave, go out to play one afternoon in this darkly comic story about the sadness of losing a friend and the joy of making a new one.

The mouse’s mother has always warned the young friends not to stray too far from home. There is a cat, she says, and it is dangerous to go far away.

But danger doesn’t stop this curious pair, and soon they find themselves face-to-face with their big blue-eyed enemy. In a feat of bravery, Gustave allows his friend the chance to escape — but is gobbled up by the cat in the process. Heartbroken, the little mouse must return home — without his friend — and tell his mother what has happened.

A sweet surprise ending turns this melancholy tale of friendship into a strangely funny book.


Rémy Simard
Rémy Simard has illustrated and written many book for children, including Monsieur Noir et Blanc and Le père Noël a une crevaison, both finalists for the Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

Pierre Pratt
Pierre Pratt is an award-winning illustrator of more than fifty books for children. He has been a finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and he has won the Elizabeth-Mrazik Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration three times.

Shelley Tanaka
Shelley Tanaka is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults’ Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel’s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended). Shelley teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.


"Some readers, taking a longer view, will find Simard’s parody of a child’s sense of crisis downright funny." Publishers Weekly

"Uncompromisingly honest . . . Strikingly illustrated in a painterly style reminiscent of Whistler's nightscapes." Kirkus Reviews

"No artificial sweeteners here: the fear is real, but so is Mommy’s ability to make things better . . . at least for now." BookDragon

"A darkly comic story. . . . Gustave is a marvellous marriage of text and illustration." CM Magazine