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Santa Mouse

Going into this holiday season and as the semester ends, the University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives has been working hard on several projects to be completed early in the new year. Our student workers are also hard at work finishing up their classes, preparing for finals and graduation, as well as their work in the archives. One such student made an incredibly timely find as they were processing the Louise Shadduck papers.

Louise Shadduck, also known as the “Lioness of Idaho,” was a journalist, political activist, author, speaker, and more. Shadduck has an incredible career and legacy for the state of Idaho. We’ll go more into that when her papers have been completely processed next semester and devote another Harvester article to her.

What is less known about Louise Shadduck (at least we in Special Collections didn’t know) was that she was a gifted artist. Her papers are full of doodles, sketches, and paintings. This December day, as Christmas approaches, we’d like to share a couple of her sketches of a notable winter figure, Santa Mouse.

Sketch of Santa Mouse [1]
Sketch of Santa Mouse [1]
Sketch of Santa Mouse [2]
Sketch of Santa Mouse [2]

In case you didn’t know (we didn’t), Santa Mouse was a picture book written in 1966 by Michael Brown and illustrated by Elfrieda De Witt. The story follows a lonely little mouse who gives Santa Claus a gift. As a thank you, Santa names the mouse Santa Mouse and gives him the opportunity to help Santa spread Christmas cheer. The original illustrations are super cute, but we think Louise’s copies are our favorite.

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