Reading to the Rescue:

A Reader’s Theater Script

By Barrie Teague Alguire


  • Narrator1
  • Narrator 2
  • Big Mouse, headstrong and impatient
  • Middle Mouse, sensible
  • Little One, young but educated


NARRATOR 1: If you were ever shipwrecked on a desert island and only had two books with you, what books would you wish for? Well, if it were me, I’d wish for a book titled Basic Survival Skills and another called How To Sail. Here’s what happened when three unlucky travelers had just such a misfortune.

MIDDLE MOUSE: Swim, Little One, swim!

LITTLE ONE: I’m (choking) tr-trying! The waves are so big!

MIDDLE MOUSE: Look, there’s a crate from the shipwreck. Try to climb onto that.

BIG MOUSE: I’ve got it, Middle Mouse. Come on, Little One, I’ll help you.

NARRATOR 2: The scene is the Pacific Ocean in the middle of a typhoon. A freighter bound for California has just broken apart and is sinking fast. Three mice that had stowed away in Hong Kong are battling to reach safety.

NARRATOR 1: They managed to climb aboard a large crate and clung to it until the storm subsided. At last, they washed up on a small island.

LITTLE ONE: Land! Oh, how wonderful. Beautiful land!

BIG MOUSE: Yes, land. That’s good. But land in the middle of the ocean. That’s bad.

MIDDLE MOUSE: Not so bad, Big Mouse, if we can find food and water.

BIG MOUSE: Yes, but I want to get back to big cities where there are mounds of garbage.

LITTLE ONE: Maybe we can sneak onto another ship.

BIG MOUSE: No big ship is going to stop at this scrawny little island. We’re stuck here.

LITTLE ONE: Yeah. Just like Robinson Crusoe. Just like the Swiss Family Robinson. Just like that TV show, Lost!

MIDDLE MOUSE: Calm down, you two. First, let’s explore. If we can find something to eat, I know we’ll be able to think more clearly.

NARRATOR 1: So the three set out to explore.

NARRATOR 2: They found fresh water to drink and trees and bushes bearing good-tasting fruit.

NARRATOR 1: But after several weeks, Big Mouse had a complaint.

BIG MOUSE: We’ve got to find a way off this island. I’m sick of being on this water and fruit diet.

LITTLE ONE: Me, too. And not only that, I’m bored!

MIDDLE MOUSE: Why don’t you explore the island?


MIDDLE MOUSE: Why don’t you explore the crates that washed ashore?

BIG MOUSE: I did that already. Nothing but books. Books, books, and more books.

MIDDLE MOUSE: Why don’t we read some of them? Maybe we will get some ideas on how to escape this place.

BIG MOUSE: I doubt it. Books aren’t good for anything except chewing the covers.

LITTLE ONE: That’s not true. Books are full of adventures and excitement and all kinds of neat facts. I’ve read lots of books. I love to read!

BIG MOUSE: Yeah, yeah, sure, kid. Okay, we can look. There’s nothing else to do.

NARRATOR 2: The three immediately climbed into some of the crates that washed ashore in the storm.

BIG MOUSE: Well, what have we got here? The Little Engine That Could. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. If You Give A Mouse a Cookie. Great! Kids stories.

LITTLE ONE: Hey, I love all those books. The Little Engine said, “I think I can, I think I can” and the Little Old Lady was not afraid of anything.

MIDDLE MOUSE: Both good messages for the fix we’re in.

LITTLE ONE: And, If You Give A Mouse a Cookie, well, it’s about a mouse!

MIDDLE MOUSE: Wait. There are thicker books in this crate.

LITTLE ONE: Another one of my favorite stories is The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Talk about exciting!

BIG MOUSE: What are you, some sort of walking library?

MIDDLE MOUSE: Hey! I think I’ve found something!

BIG MOUSE: What? What?

LITTLE ONE: Great! What is it?

MIDDLE MOUSE: Here it is: Sailing for Dummies!

BIG MOUSE: Hey, who are you calling a dummy?

LITTLE ONE: No, no! That’s just the name of a book series that tells you how to do things.

MIDDLE MOUSE: Like sailing.

BIG MOUSE: Oh, I get it. Don’t we need something called Shipbuilding for Dummies?

MIDDLE MOUSE: Think, Big Mouse. By learning about sailing, we will probably learn enough to figure out how to build a boat to sail on.

BIG MOUSE: Hey, maybe there is something to this reading stuff after all.

NARRATOR 1: And so the mice immediately started reading the books and soon learned about all the parts of a boat as well as basic sailing skills.

LITTLE ONE: This rope—I mean, this line, goes forward, to the bow of the boat. (proudly) That’s the front.

MIDDLE MOUSE: That’s right, Little One. Put it on the starboard side. Do you remember what that means?

LITTLE ONE: That’s right. I mean, that’s the right side of the boat.

MIDDLE MOUSE: That’s right. (laughs) I mean, that’s correct.

NARRATOR 2: They learned lots of sailing words.

BIG MOUSE: Avast! I love to say that! It means, “pay attention.” Avast! Avast, you swabs! Swab the deck, you swab!

LITTLE ONE: Aye, aye, captain. I’ll just swab the poop deck. (laughs) That’s such a funny name.

MIDDLE MOUSE: Little One, it just means the deck closest to the stern of the ship, which sometimes gets hit by big waves from behind.

LITTLE ONE: I know, but it’s fun to say.

BIG MOUSE: Little One. That’s so childish. Act like a grown-up. (pretends to give orders) Now, hoist the mainsail, weigh anchor, hard a-starboard, hard a-port, mind the scuppers!

Narrator 2: After many weeks of reading and improvising, the three adventurers managed to create a small boat from the broken crates, using pages from books as their sails and packing twine for ropes.

NARRATOR 1: They sailed off into the sunset, eventually landing in Hawaii, where Big Mouse took up residence in a fancy hotel.

NARRATOR 2: Middle Mouse and Little One, who preferred a quieter life, dug a cozy burrow right next to the Honolulu Library where they can read to their hearts’ content.

The End


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011