Mouse Vacation by Philip Roy

October 26, 2016


Mouse Vacation by Philip Roy; illustrated by Andrea Torrey Balsara

Series: Happy the pocket mouse, Book 4

Published by: Ronsdale Press, c2016 ISBN:9781553804796

Happy the pocket mouse has dreams of taking a holiday like his neighbour Mrs. Farrell. When he approaches his human friend John, about his ideas, John and Happy’s ensuing conversation will take the reader on a journey that covers many areas on the globe.

The soft watercolour closeup illustrations of Happy throughout this tale of the “Pocket Mouse“, expertly captures and mirrors expressions that young children often convey when having similar conversations with an adult.  The lists that Happy and John compile reveal the difference each character has about taking a vacation. Happy’s  trips are all to farway places, whereas John’s rational for his choices are made from a more humble origin.

Eventually, a compromise is reached by both, which has Happy and John taking a journey via an overnight bus trip to the seashore.

At 32 pages, the expressive illustrations highly compliment the text and allow the reader to become fully engaged with Happy and John’s tale.

Although the story is simple in the telling, I found that Happy’s big ideas of ‘taking a vacation’ is an original way of introducing  world cultures, places and maps and engage young children!

A great curriculum connection for primary children!


Highly Recommended! FIVE STARS!



[Book supplied by Ronsdale Press in exchange for an honest review]


Mouse Tales by Philip Roy

March 31, 2014

dedut children's book by award winning author Philip Roy 

Mouse Tales by: Philip Roy

Illustrated by: Andrea Torrey Balsara

Series: Happy the Pocket Mouse; Book 1

Published by Ronsdale Press, c2014

Grades: Kindergarten to Grade 3


Happy is a mouse who asks his friend, John, to tell him a story in order to get to sleep. However, Happy’s bravado is tested, when John begins his story and John is left with a very unique challenge!

This debut children’s story by CLA and Red Maple nominated author, Philip Roy, is a delightful tale that echoes what every young child asks of a parent…to read them to sleep. We are made aware that what can seem like an ordinary story to an adult, is heard ‘differently’ by a child.

The author has skillfully written a tale that is underlined with tried patience, humour, courage …. and more!

A heartfelt story that is further enhanced by the vibrant colourful and expressive illustrations of Andrea Torrey Balsara.


This story of a endearing little pocket mouse, is destined to become a beloved book, begged to be read aloud, over and over again!



Highly Recommended!!

Blood Brothers in Louisbourg by Philip Roy

March 7, 2014

blood-brothers  Blood brothers in Louisbourg  by Philip Roy
Published by Cape Breton University Press; c2012
137 p,

  Genre: Canadian historical fiction ; First Nations history

Alternating chapters gives the reader a dual perspective to two time lines that are on an intersecting course  unknown to the central characters — Jacques and Two-feathers.
During the reign of King Louis XV, a young French educated teen, suddenly finds himself ripped from the fabric of all that is familiar. He sets sail on a ship bound to New France into the unknown, with a father he hardly knows.
Arriving at Fortress Louisbourg, young Jacques dons an ill-fitting uniform and is thrust into the harsh, unforgiving military world that his father idolizes.
At a similar moment in time, in the untamed wilderness surrounding the Fortress, a young Mi’kmaq warrior called Two-feathers is on his own quest to find the father he never met.

This is the story of two young men – “both seeking to understand their father” unknowingly linked by the bonds of their heritage.

Mr. Roy has created a moving historical tale that touches on a part of Canada’s past that is often overlooked — observations from both inhabitants – those ‘discovering’ Canada and from the First Nations.

It is an engaging story that can be used as a read aloud as it ties in with the school curriculum and can spark many debates and /or discussions within the classroom!


Grade Level: Grade 7 -9
Interest level: Grade 6-9

Highly recommended!