House by Mouse

I went thrifting a few days ago and didn’t find anything of worth but ONE thing. It was a children’s book but it was FOR ME! Not for Hannah! I couldn’t put it down. I am instantly attracted to little mice in/with their little houses so that book was for sure coming home with me. NO second thoughts. Especially when it was only a dollar.

Pig's house in House by Mouse, written by George Mendoza

House by Mouse was written by George Mendoza and first published/released in UK in 1981. Henrietta Mouse was a world-famous architect who designed houses for her friends, the Trout, Otter, Caterpillar, Owl, Squirrel etc etc. Doris Smith illustrated it for him.

Frog's house in House by Mouse, written by George Mendoza

I love little houses pictured in books in their cross section form. Makes me dream… imagine what it would be like to live like a Fox or the Frog. How glorious it would be to live in an underwater haven.

{Click on images for more details}

I sat in the car reading the book and by the time we got home hours later, I was determined to get more copies. Some toddler had marked the first few pages so I Googled to see if I could get a pristine copy.

Caterpillar's house in House by Mouse, written by George Mendoza

Imagine to my shock and horror when I found out that these days, they are a collectors’ item! On Amazon, they *start* at US$79!!! All the way up to the US$500s!

Well, a pristine copy will not be showing up at bijou kaleidoscope’s house for a while, but my copy, albeit marked, will sure stay a treasured item for a long long long time.

Note: This book was released in US under the title, Need a House, Call Ms Mouse.

25 June 2007



  1. Reply


    15 June 2007

    This is such a great find. You must be on top of the world. If I had read this book as a child I bet I would have gone to design school rather than followed my current path, heh heh.

  2. Reply


    16 June 2007

    The thing is pink, this costs next to nothing, it’s a childrens book, with perhaps 24 pages and it’s super thin, why would anyone pay US$80 and above for it? Maybe it contains clues to a home in UK waiting to be designed by some lucky finder. I’m happy, so happy to now own it. Hannah loves it too but this stays mine :Pyeah me too, if I had the chance to go back I’d def be a interior designer. Doctor pays too!

  3. Reply


    3 February 2008

    I was just shopping for a friend who writes kid’s books and looking for this old favourite (i read it as a child and yes, it’s stayed with me!)– on amazon now it goes for around 300 !! that’s insane! oh well, at least she can see your pictures!thanks.

  4. Reply


    3 February 2008

    Hi Anna, thanks for leaving a comment on the post, yes it’s MAD how much they cost now. It’s now one of my favourite books and I’m always looking out for another copy in my secondhand bookstore and thrift shop travels.Hope you get one as well!

  5. Reply


    26 June 2008

    That was one of my all-time favorite books as a kid. I would get lost in all the tiny tiny details of the homes in the book. I think it’s what created my love for interior design, that book was a huge part of my childhood. Thanks for mentioning it, you brought back warm fuzzy feelings. ;)

  6. Reply


    30 June 2008

    andreafoodie: yeah i still get lost of everything. fancy staring at an open pear of the caterpillar home for 10 minutes :Pglad to have brought back good memories for you…

  7. Reply

    Bella Sabbagh

    23 February 2009

    I’ve been looking for an affordable copy of this book for a couple of years now. It’s out of print – hence the high price. I finally found one last night on abe books, but I’m not going to believe it’s true until it pops through my letter box! I’ve been looking at the lovely scanned pages in your blog entry and will return to them until my copy turns up. It is such a gorgeous book!

  8. Reply


    24 February 2009

    bella, yes i love love love it. keep looking for it everywhere i go!i’m so glad you found one of your own! (i bet you didn’t pay my $2 pricetag for it!!! and hopefully minus the 1 year old autographs here and there like mine!) it’s not just the out of print … but it’s a good damn book for starters!i’m so pleased to be able to share with you a few of the pages from my copy!

  9. Reply

    Bella Sabbagh

    27 February 2009

    My copy arrived! It's in very good condition, too. I'm so happy to finally have it, and it only cost £3.00, plus £4.00 p&p, which is such a bargain, considering how rare it is, (although your $1 price tag is hard to beat!) and as you say, it's a beautiful book in its own right. Such lovely detail in the pictures. One day I'd like to see an American copy, since the text is apparently so different. Best wishes. x

  10. Reply


    2 March 2009

    bella: wow good news :) you spent good money on it too!!! :)i didn’t know the american version was any different! thanks for letting me know and updating me, i love my own copy… one of my treasures!

  11. Reply


    11 March 2009

    Hi Drey, I was so pleased to come across your post and see the pictures from the book. I was wondering if you were able to put up any more of the pictures from the book or know of anywhere that has the book online? One day I might come across the book a little cheaper, fingers crossed.Thanks, L

  12. Reply


    12 March 2009

    hi L, thanks for contacting me. good to find another House by Mouse lover :) bella above found it for only a few pounds! maybe you’ll be lucky too! Amazon has them for about US$150… I am not all that keen to scan more pages on my blog for fear of running into copyright problems! Maybe someone rich should buy the rights to the book and reprint!

  13. Reply


    28 August 2009

    Hi, great to stumble across your blog. I was randomly doing a search about this book as its one of my childhood fav's and I have carried round with me as I move from various student digs. Absolutely amazed to hear that it costs so much these days – but I agree, I'd never sell my copy :)

  14. Reply


    29 August 2009

    hi thanks for commenting, so pleased to hear from you! :) i'm glad you already have your copy and treasure it as much!

  15. Reply


    15 April 2010

    I read this book as a kid, I still draw little house plans on the backs of napkins because of it! I am really hoping my Mum still has it tucked away somewhere (highly possible) because I have lost so many beautiful things from my childhood, this one is a treasure to be kept for ever! :) Lucky you, I hope your daughter is inspired by it as much as you are!

  16. Reply


    15 April 2010

    oooh! i'm hoping you do find that copy! it's as rare as hen's teeth!there was one on ebay for months. no one bought it as it was too expensive ($200!)

  17. Reply


    8 August 2010

    Wow, I'm going to have to find my childhood copy and stash it!I've been remembering this book recently, as I've just bought my first house!

  18. Reply


    10 August 2010

    heheheh hope you DO find it :)

  19. Reply


    31 August 2010

    OMG!! I used to read and play with this book. Would really like to get a copy!

  20. Reply


    5 April 2011

    This was my favourite book as a child and I still have my copy. In Canada it was still "House by Mouse" – can't believe it costs so much now though seeing as I could never see myself giving mine up – I guess it might take a pretty penny to pry away from anyone else too!


The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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