The Mouse and His Child is a novel by Russell Hoban first published in 1967. It has been described as "a classic of children's literature, and possibly the book for which Mr. Hoban is best known" . It was adapted into an animated film in 1977.
The book was out of print until a new edition with new illustrations was released in 2001. The mouse and child of the title are a pair of toy mice, joined by the hands and operated by clockwork. The story tells of their beginning in a toy store, their purchase and eventual discarding, their pursuit by a malicious rat and their quest to become self-winding.
The story is different from most children's literature and shares some commonalities with E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, particularly in an occasional use of advanced vocabulary, a willingness to include adult themes, and talking animals.