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Southeast Asia’s Favorite Trickster!

The Adventures of Mouse Deer

Favorite Folk Tales of Southeast Asia

Book illustration

Told by Aaron Shepard
Illustrated by Kim Gamble

“I’m quick and smart as I can be.
Try and try, but you can’t catch me!”

Mouse Deer sings his song as he walks through the forest looking for tasty fruits and roots and shoots. Though he’s small, he is not afraid. He knows that many big animals want to eat him—but first they have to catch him!

In these delightful trickster tales from Southeast Asia, find out how Mouse Deer gets the best of his enemies—Tiger, Crocodile, and the most dangerous animal of all, Farmer!

Early reader • Ages 4–9

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of The Baker’s Dozen, The Sea King’s Daughter, The Monkey King, and many more children’s books, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader’s theater. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society.

Kim Gamble is one of the most popular children’s book illustrators of Australia. He is also a frequent contributor to that country’s much-loved School Magazine, where Aaron’s Mouse Deer stories first appeared.


You’re welcome to download a free digital copy of this book, if you’re willing to write a review on your favorite online retailer—or anywhere else—or even just want to evaluate the book for your own purchase. Your posted review can be positive or negative—really, say just what you think, good or bad! If you’re posting on Amazon, though, they want you to include a statement like, “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”

Also welcome to download it are educators, librarians, booksellers, rights buyers, or anyone else needing to evaluate it professionally.

To download now, just hit the link below. No personal info or approval is required. And please feel free to share this offer with others.

The Adventures of Mouse Deer ARC
(PDF, 4 MB)

Skyhook Press

Paperback ~ 2005

Ebook ~ 2013

Paperback, 12th Anniversary Edition ~ 2017

Hardcover, 12th Anniversary Edition ~ 2018

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Book cover


“A retelling of some of Southeast Asia’s most popular folklore . . . . Simply narrated, The Adventures of Mouse Deer is witty and steeped in the power of myth, as well as high-spirited determination. . . . [A] delightful introduction to an enduring legend.”—Small Press Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review, May 2005

“Mouse Deer’s small stature leaves him vulnerable in the jungle, but Crocodile, Tiger, and Farmer are no match for this quick-witted, fearless creature. Give this book to children making their first forays into chapter books, and visit the author’s Web site to download readers theater scripts.”—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal, Dec. 1, 2009

Sample Text

Then he heard something. Rowr!

There was Tiger!

“Hello, Mouse Deer. I was just getting hungry. Now you can be my lunch.”

Mouse Deer didn’t want to be lunch. He looked around and thought fast. He saw a mud puddle.

“I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch. The King has ordered me to guard his pudding.”

“His pudding?” said Tiger.

“Yes. There it is.” Mouse Deer pointed to the mud puddle. “It has the best taste in the world. The King doesn’t want anyone else to eat it.”

Tiger looked longingly at the puddle. “I would like to taste the King’s pudding.”

“Oh, no, Tiger! The King would be very angry.”

“Just one little taste, Mouse Deer! The King will never know.”

“Well, all right, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so no one will blame me.”

“All right, Mouse Deer, you can go now.”

Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight.

“Imagine!” said Tiger. “The King’s pudding!” He took a big mouthful.

Phooey! He spit it out.

“Yuck! Ugh! Bleck! That’s no pudding. That’s mud!”

Tiger ran through the forest. Rowr! He caught up with Mouse Deer.

“Mouse Deer, you tricked me once. But now you will be my lunch!”

Sample text copyright © 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005 Aaron Shepard. Illustration copyright © 2001, 2005 Kim Gamble.

Hear Exeter’s Meaningful Occupation Project Read!

Mouse Deer and Tiger
Mouse Deer and Crocodile
Mouse Deer and Farmer

(6 minutes—4 minutes—6 minutes)

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