The Astonishing Adventures of Luki Tawdry

Janice Gray Kolb

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ISBN: 978-1-57733-260-2, 66 pp., 19 i llus., 5.5 x 8.5, paperback, $13.00

Also by Jan Kolb:

Compassion for All Creatures
Journal of Love
The Enchantment of Writing
Higher Ground
Beneath the Stars & Trees ... there is a place
Beside the Still Waters
In Corridors of Eternal Time
Solace of Solitude
A Pilgrim on Life's Road
Silent Keepers
Reflections by the Lake
Reverence for All Life
Whispered Notes

Luki Tawdry is a mouse who lives in a small green cottage by a lake in New Hampshire. The cottage is also occupied by two people and a cat. Every night the man—Mister Bob—sets a small mouse trap (which causes no injury to the occupant), and then every morning he releases the captured mouse outside.

Because the trap is a secure place to sleep and get a good meal, Luki uses the “Tender Trap” as a base for his daily adventures. Each night he returns to the safety, warmth, and food supplied by the Tender Trap, and each morning Mister Bob releases Luki outside to draw attention to those who would destroy the very air we breathe, the land we walk on, the food we eat, and the water we drink.

Luki has decided that if this old world of ours is going to be the kind of place it should be, then it is up to all of us—even someone as insignificant as a little mouse—to do everything possible to make things better. He is concerned about kindness, love, the environment, and taking care of nature as much as he can.

While Luki Tawdry is not quite Mighty Mouse, he does have an endearing personality all his own—less powerful, more humble perhaps, but a genuine, caring, and compassionate mouse, nonetheless, as he rescues both animals and humans from impending dangers. His main mission is to promote a heightened awareness of our surroundings and to show compassion and love for other creatures, plant life, the environment, and our Mother Earth.

Oh yes…and Luki really likes peanut butter, and the nighttime trap that Mister Bob lovingly sets for him each night. We trust Luki will win your heart also.


"Hooray for Janice Gray Kolb for creating an endearing tale with considerable appeal and heart for children of all ages. Masked in a little mouse’s adventures, this story holds the serious message of the importance of taking care of our Earth. Janice creates a believable, imaginary world by her beautiful portrait of a husband and wife who show great kindness to even the smallest of creatures by using a 'tender trap' to capture him each night. Each morning they lovingly take the little mouse outside to release him. Reluctantly he leaves his 'home,' but this simple act of kindness they show him inspires 'Luki Tawdry' to dedicate his days to saving the world around him and at the end of the day, exhausted, return to its safety. Throughout the book the stories are complimented by Jan’s enchanting illustrations. One cannot help but fall in love with this little guy. By the end of the book, its readers will want a 'Luki' of their own, or at the very least they will be emulating him and his life’s mission." Janna VanDorick, daughter

"A bedtime story for those who want to teach compassion for all creatures." Mike and Dianne Burnham, writer/journalist and animal lover

"The Astonishing Adventures of Luki Tawdry by Janice Gray Kolb is a delightful collection of stories for children and adults alike. A lovely message is enmeshed in each exciting tale of adventure and a warm feeling of home as Luki snuggles into his Tender Trap each night. What a great way to raise our consciousness about wildlife, the environment and love for others. Janice Kolb's original and enchanting illustrations create a wonderful little world to escape to in Luki Tawdry." Laurel Kolb Kuhl

"Delightful stories with a vital message about our environment today. I believe that concerned parents will want to read these thoughtful stories to their younger children and discuss how Luki Tawdry's concerns fit in their own lives." Marily Richards, former reviewer for School Library Journal

“Luki the mouse, Mr. Bob, and Miss Janny touched my heart with their love, kindness, and compassion. The Astonishing Adventures of Luki Tawdry charms and entertains while it inspires the reader—young and old—to care for all of God’s creatures.” Nancy Richards, author of Heal and Forgive

"Once again Jan’s love, compassion and concern for all of God’s creation shines through as Luki Tawdry finds ways to make the world a better place while bravely daring to accept a loving home for himself. Readers of all ages will be charmed by this enchanting little mouse." Jody Black

Table of Contents


The Wonderful Adventure with the Fishline 1
The Wonderful Adventure with the Leaking Boat 13
The Wonderful Adventure with the Smoke Alarms 25
The Wonderful Adventure with the Beavers 35

A Remembrance
Hymn: As I Lay Down to Sleep
Reflections on the Hymn
A Remembrance


Luki sat in the dark wondering where he was. Minutes before he had been scampering through the eaves of the basement ceiling of a small green cottage. He loved being inside this cottage in the woods by a large beautiful lake. He felt the love in this small home, heard the voices of those who lived here, and he sensed he could never come to harm within these walls. Often he would sit on a ceiling rafter ever so quietly watching the big man—Mister Bob—work at his computer on the small desk in the tiny room at the rear of the basement. It gave Luki comfort to do this and gave him a sense of belonging to this home and family. Often Janny would come to the basement office to talk to Mister Bob, and he knew from what he overheard that they loved each other and that they were writers. Often she would bring papers to him in her own handwriting so that he might type what she wrote on his computer and store it within that funny machine. It was through their conversations he had learned this strange machine was a computer. Mister Bob also typed his own thoughts and writings as Luki watched. Oh, it was such a lovely place to live!

As he sat now in what seemed to be a nice-sized round container, he reflected on his life for a few brief moments. He did not know why he was called “Luki.” He had not known his mother since he was an infant and so he could not ask her when he grew a bit bigger. His dear mother, he learned, had been caught and killed in a dreadful trap when she ventured too far from the place of his birth. He had been born in a small green shed that was so fine and warm—but his mother had been taken from him in this cruel way because she had travelled in search of food for her young ones to a forbidden area that she had been invited to by her stepmother. When his father had gone to look for her there, he met a similar fate. Word came back to Luki and his brothers and sisters of this double tragedy from other mice who passed their door. But he knew from an older brother that he had been named Luki. “Tawdry” was their family last name given by this unkind stepmother who had spent most of her life in a rich man’s home. She despised the shoddy and poor way in which her stepdaughter’s family chose to live. They preferred the simple life in the woods and small cabins and sheds to the wealthy home of the stepmother’s environment. But she thought herself a high-class mouse and chose to humiliate them by giving them this name. But instead they were pleased and proudly carried it to show they loved the simple life and the kind of mice it attracted.

Papillon Publishing, 2012

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