Professor and Author, Robert Z. Hicks

~Local Star~

  Mouse in the Manger & Tommie Turtle’s Secret

When it comes to gift-giving, one popular set of guidelines advises we purchase “Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.”

For children ages 3-8, who are beginning readers or pre-school learners, there is nothing more appropriate this season, than the award-winning children’s book, Mouse in the Manger, by professor and author Robert Z. Hicks, otherwise known as “Mr. Bob.”

“Thinking there had to be some purpose for all the rhyming stories, I felt God wanted me to use my gift for rhyme to help children learn to read. As a teacher, I added study guides and commentary, so my books would be teaching tools for learning things and moral values,” Mr. Bob said.

The idea for the Mouse in the Manger, starring Micah the mouse, originated from a personal experience in his childhood. Growing up in the 30’s & 40’s in Detroit, MI, Mr. Bob recalls being eight or nine years-old. He found some abandoned, newborn baby mice in a nest in the attic, and his Mother fed them milk and honey with a tiny baby doll bottle until they opened their eyes. When they were able to crawl out of their box, young Bob let them go, next to the mangers in the barn where his Grandfather kept the big work horses. “Remembering that incident led me to thinking of the manger in the Christmas story, and the rhyming inspiration started.” Mr. Bob explained.

Mouse in the Manger has won numerous awards including “Best Children’s Story” at the 2011 Florida Christian Writers Conference; FINALIST in the Florida Writer’s Association 2015 Royal Palm Literary Awards competition; FINALIST in the 2015 USA Best Book Award; and was published in the December 2011 edition of the “Focus on the Family” Clubhouse JR. Magazine.

Ashley Otis of The Art Institute of Tampa Bay is the talented illustrator for Mr. Bob’s books. Stay tuned for another collaboration of their talents in the upcoming Danny the Dragon, coming soon.

The Mouse in the Manger, along with Tommie the Turtle’s Secret, Mr. Bob’s first published children’s book, can be purchased on Amazon, or from his website: If you live in or around the New Port Richey area, you are welcome to visit he and his wife of 51 years, Betty, for a personalized, autographed copy,  Call 727-842-8314.

By Debra Taylor Tee |

727-709-9541 |

Presented By Debbie Dawson, RE/MAX Champions |

727-710-0286 |

Post a Comment