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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How Carlo the Mouse Took the World by the Horns

How Carlo the Mouse Took the World by the Horns

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.” Writing my first book, Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, I kept his advice in mind. I wanted to create a children’s book that would appeal not only to children but to grown-ups as well. I hoped my story would attract a wider sector of readers of different ages and bring back memories of youthful fun and good laughs. Taking into consideration the fact that grown-ups are the ones who introduce books to children, I tried to lift the bar so the storyline would appeal to older readers too. If necessary, they could easily explain the story to the children if they were too young to understand it.

This decision slightly raised the eyebrows of some cynical folks. Thank heavens it did not bother the young fans. They fell in love with the daring mouse as soon as they saw the happy Carlo beaming from the cover of this book. Since the day I introduced this adventurous mouse to readers, he has managed to find many good friends around the globe. Readers like how Carlo took the world by the horns. I have received emails, messages, suggestions, pictures, and even some stories about Carlo’s future adventures, which I may use when the time is right.

Anyone who has read Carlothe Mouse on Vacation might remember that the story finished with Carlo sitting inside an empty pizza box. We'll let him sit there for a while and think of how he will outsmart the man in black. Meanwhile, I will tell you the story that led to the series of six books on Carlo the mouse as a baby.

It was the day of my daughter’s bridal shower. Before the girls hit the town to have fun, I volunteered to babysit for their children. The children happened to be very young, between 3 and 7 years old, and it was very challenging to entertain them all afternoon. Tired of chasing them around, I pulled out a box with books and started showing them colorful illustrations from my first book, Carlo the Mouse on Vacation. Before I knew it, the kids showered me with many questions about the Florida mouse. Who does not know about that famous mouse! But I stumbled on the famous cook, who yelled “Baaam” from the TV and scared babies in the delivery room.

The kids were so excited to find out what Carlo did inside the hospital that I started cooking up new stories about Carlo as a baby. There were many questions about the doctors, the hospital staff, and Carlo’s mom and dad. As they looked at the colorful illustrations, the kids were coming up with so many ideas that my head began to spin. To calm them down, I came up with stories of how Carlo caused trouble inside the hospital. Their interest sparked immediately.

At first, the kids wanted Carlo to do bad things and act silly, but I thought it would be more fun if we established some rules, which, of course, Carlo would eventually break and get himself in more trouble. In this way, younger children would learn something useful from his adventures while still having fun. I spent a lot of time in the hospital with my sick father and had a good idea of how a nosy mouse could get in trouble. Jumping in front of each other in their excitement, the children came up with many rules and some good propositions.

It was already close to dinnertime, but the game was not even close to an end. That was when my husband came to the rescue. He found a few flashlights and started the real adventures. Armed with flashlights and plastic bags, the young hunters started searching all the closets in the house. While their mission was going on, I managed to cook meatballs and spaghetti. Looking for clues that Carlo left in the closet, my husband finally lured the children to the kitchen so we could feed them. Who could refuse Mrs. D’s meatballs and spaghetti, which Carlo did not manage to taste when he tried to visit Mrs. D’s kitchen? In no time, the plates were empty and the children went back to searching for the sneaky mouse until they could not keep their eyes open. In the middle of the night, I could still hear them talking about the little mouse causing trouble in the hospital.

The next day, I received calls from their parents asking me the name of the book I had read to their children, because they were still looking for some mouse that was hiding in their closet.

“Unwritten book,” I said. At that moment, I knew I must go back in time and write new stories about Carlo the mouse, beginning the day he was born. The game the children created that summer did not stop and is going on to this day. It became more interesting when we started working on illustrations and I could show my little friends how the stories were coming to life. Now the game is more intriguing, because they can visualize the scenes from the illustrations and still have an opportunity to come up with their own stories.

As the author, I faced a real dilemma: what to do with the original book, Carlo the Mouse onVacation. Since this book includes four stories, which are for slightly older readers, I decided to slightly rewrite it and I made these stories part of the new series of Carlo the mouse. As of right now, I have six books about Carlo the mouse as a baby and a teen, which I will gradually connect to the old stories. Chanoa, the illustrator, beautifully illustrated the first six books. Her illustrations are colorful, entertaining, and pleasant to the eye.

Carlo the Mouse: Book1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is published and currently available in print as a soft- and hardcover book and as an e-book for most popular e-devices.

The full series of adventures of Carlo the mouse will easily entertain children and grown-ups. I am planning to publish the first six books in 2016 and 2017. I still have not decided what to do with my first book, Carlo the Mouse on Vacation. I may retire it as soon as I publish these stories as separate books, or I may keep it available for my fans as a great remainder of how the series of Carlo the Mouse fell into my lap once again.

It has been some thrilling ride since I introduced Carlo the mouse to the world. As my grandpa would say, “Every vegetable has its time.” So does this story. It must find its readers, some of them far away from Florida and some of them next to my home. And as my young fan, Sergei from Moscow, wrote in his story, may the story of Carlo the mouse never end.


Grab your boots and hold on to your hat, because you are in for an exciting trip! The new series of Carlo the mouse has been born! Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo's adventures. Clever, curious, and very impatient, Carlo the mouse dreams of the world outside the hospital. His parents teach him how to follow the rules and how to survive on his own, but Carlo's insatiable desire for adventure constantly gets him in trouble. Will the little adventurer manage to survive when he leaves home? You'll find out in Mrs. D.'s next book on Carlo the mouse, Now We're Talking! Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo's adventures!

Carlo The Mouse,  Book 2:  Now We're Talking!

Listen to the news and keep your eyes open, because a curious little mouse has had his wish come true! Now We're Talking! is the second in a series of books on Carlo's adventures. This little mouse leaves home for the first time to explore life inside the hospital. But Hospitalia is a strange place, and there's no place for him to hide. Cold, sterile, and unfriendly, the hospital looks nothing like Carlo had imagined while sitting at home. Before he knows what's up, the kitchen staff are on his tail. Will the hungry mouse manage to trick the hospital manager, cook, and exterminator without breaking the rules his parents taught him? You'll find out in Mrs. D.'s next book on Carlo The Mouse, What's Going On? If this clever mouse outwits you, do not get discouraged. Keep reading and follow Carlo's adventures!     

Carlo The Mouse, Book 3: What's Going On?

Trouble! Where did that ravenous little mouse come from who's disturbing the peace in the hospital? What's Going On? is the third in a series of books on the adventures of Carlo the mouse. Carlo knew he was not supposed to go near the manager's office, but when the kitchen staff were chasing him, he made ​​a choice that started a war. This is only Carlo's first time out, and already everyone is after him. Imagine what could happen when he learns his way around the hospital! He likes to eat and is growing like a mushroom after the rain. Will this be the end of our curious little mouse, or will Carlo manage to outsmart the clever manager, angry cook, and sneaky  exterminator so he can go home safely? You'll find out in Mrs. D.'s next book on Carlo the mouse, Rules Are for a Reason . Remember, Hospitalia is a strange place ...

More trouble for the Most Wanted Mouse! The hospital cook, manager, and exterminator have proclaimed war against the mice of the world! Rules Are for a Reason is the fourth in a series of books on Carlo the mouse. Always hungry, the curious little mouse snoops underneath each door, driving the hospital staff crazy. He's constantly breaking the rules his parents taught him. One morning, Carlo wakes up sick. Horrified, he leaps from his bed and looks in the mirror - and he looks like a meatball! Fly disease? Mousesclerosis? Chickenpoxsclerosis? Sounds long! What sickness did the carefree mouse catch while exploring the hospital? Will Carlo turn into a chicken ... or a frog ... or maybe a prince? You'll find out in the next book on Carlo's adventures: Nothing Is Safe in a Mouse's Life. If you want to know if Carlo will learn to follow the rules Papa and Mama Mouse Mouse taught him, you must read every day and follow your parents' rules. More exciting adventures of the Mouse Carlo await you!

A whisker-licking story of one kind little mouse! Who would ever suspect Carlo would meet Fidel the cat inside the hospital? Who would ever believe that the tricky young mouse would outsmart the old cat? Who would ever imagine that for the first time in his life, the daring mouse would venture away from his home and find himself outside the hospital? Homeless, cold, and hungry, Carlo and his family face attacks from vicious birds. Throughout his dangerous journey, Carlo finds adventure aplenty. He learns about life outside the hospital and the dangers mice face on a daily basis. Determined to return home safely, Carlo has grown up and finally understands why he must obey the rules his parents taught him. Follow the unexpected adventures of this bold little mouse in Mrs. D.'s next book on Carlo the mouse, It's My Life!
Carlo The Mouse, Book 6: It's My Life!

Once a mouse falls in love, almost anything can happen! His heart skips a beat! He can not eat, drink, or sleep! He is tossing in bed, and losing extra fat! He bleaches his brown hair blond and becomes a mouse! What is going on with Carlo? Papa Mouse is distressed. Is he getting a heart attack? Carlo looks like a bleached punk! Mama Mouse is in shock. Their little mouse has grown up, and he is in love with a cute mouse. He is getting married, dear friends! The young mouse gets his wish. He soon has a pretty wife and a bunch of kids, but he still dreams of seeing the world. Life is short, and a day can hold many adventures. Sliding off a roof, Carlo falls inside an open car trunk ...

Join Carlo in this delightful series of children's books!
Carlo The Mouse on Vacation -A full series of new books

 More books on Carlo the mouse are coming in the near future. Unexpectedly, Carlo the mouse takes a vacation far away from home and discovers that the world outside the hospital is not what he had expected ...

 Kick off your boots, hold your hats, and enjoy these books, my dear friends!

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