CBR Bingo – Fauna
When she was 12 years old, 80s movie star Ally Sheedy wrote the book She Was Nice to Mice about Queen Elizabeth I and a genteel mouse living in her palace. One of the best things about the book is the drawings, which were done by another young woman named Jessica Ann Levy. The cover shown here features Elizabeth and a small mouse dressed in exquisite Elizabethan garb. Adorbs!
The story depicts Queen Elizabeth as a fiery, temperamental ruler who loves two things: her consort Essex and mice. She handles mice tenderly, while chopping the head off Essex for falling in love with another. So it goes.
Despite it being written by a 12 year old, She Was Nice to Mice is written with a surprisingly sure, adult hand. Sheedy writes of many cute things mouse society does, from creating little candles from human candlewax to eating tiny snacks of melted cheese on toast crumbs to “ice skating” on a glass tabletop using bits of fabric for skates. The mice dress in tiny, intricate little outfits as impressive as any courtier’s. On the, ahem, adult side of things, there was a bit about Elizabeth in bed with Essex talking about his strong body. But twelve year olds are allowed to be hormonal, I’m no prude.
She Was Nice to Mice is a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of Queen Elizabeth, which shows her complex moods, her coldness, and her deep emotion. Oh yes, and her love of mice. I despise mice, poor little things, so this book gave me a faint case of the willies. I shan’t hold that against it though. It was a sweet read.