Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

Author:  Karma Wilson
Illustrator:  Jane Chapman

mortimerMortimer, a wee mouse, lives in a cold, dark, cramped hole under the stairs.  Imagine his delight as one day, while sneaking about hunting for scraps of food, he spies a new house just his size!  It is on the family’s table next to a large evergreen tree.  The tree has been decorated with twinkling lights, red and white candy canes, and brightly colored balls.  Mortimer is rather fascinated by this strange, lovely tree, but is more curious about the little house he has spied.  He scampers up the tree to reach it.  Realizing it is only filled with wooden statues, he drags them out.  When he reaches the smallest statue, a baby in a manger, Mortimer says, “There’s no room for you here. Out you go.”  And he curls up into the bed of hay and falls asleep.

Each night as Mortimer returns to sleep in the soft bed of hay he is upset to find that the statues have again been placed back into the little house.  “No, no, NO!”squeaked Mortimer. “This won’t do.  There’s no room for me!”  This continues until one day…  Mortimer heard something wonderful!  The family in the house was reading a story.

“A long time ago in a little town called Bethlehem”…
Mortimer heard about Joseph and Mary and a baby who was born in a stable.”

“And there was no room for them in the inn.” 

Mortimer is filled with understanding about his new house.  Now Mortimer must make a decision.  He looked at the statues.  He knew in his heart what he needed to do.

Sometimes what we think is the best solution to our problems isn’t always the best.  Mortimer found out that his needs could be met in different ways. This sweet story helps us understand that putting others first brings us joy.

Mary Byrne Kline

1.  How did the statues get set up night after night after Mortimer had dragged them out?
2.  Who was the baby born to save the world?
3.  Name some ways you can put others first and be kind.



  1. Adorable story for Christmas!

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