The Mouse Mansion was made by hand by artist Karina Schaapman (1960). Karina wanted to create a children's book. Not with illustrations, but with photographs of scènes from a handmade 3D miniature house made for mice. Sam and Julia's story was already written in her mind.
In 2008 Karina started building the very first mouse mansion
She built it out of cardboard boxes and recycled materials. Room by room this world of mice became larger en more realistic. After three years of building almost fulltime the first Mouse Mansion was completed. The original mansion is two meters wide and three meters tall. In 2011 Karina's dream became a reality. Her Mouse Mansion was photographed and the first book in The Mouse Mansion series was published: Sam en Julia.
Now (2021) there are seventeen books published, and the original Mouse Mansion is on loan to the public library of Amsterdam. It's being exhibited for all the children of the city.
Julia's appartement is largely based on Karina's childhood home. This home filled with love and creativity forms the foundation of the Mouse Mansion. Loads of Mouse Mansion stories find their origin in Karina's childhood memories. She is the daughter of a single mother, an immigrant from Indonesia. The loving atmosphere in their home was set in sharp contrast to the outside world, where both Karina and her mother were heavily discriminated against. With The Mouse Mansion Karina has created the world of inclusivity and friendship that she so desperately wanted as a child.
In her words: 'The Mouse Mansion is the world I would want every child to grow up in.'
The Mouse mansion is...
...a safe haven
...an inclusive world
....a place of curiosity
...a story of friendship and community
A family run company
These days Karina is not alone in her efforts to spread the philosophy behind The Mouse Mansion. Since 2018 her four children are a large part of this journey. Family run business The Mouse Mansion Company is actively pursuing dreams of introducing Sam, Julia and their neighbours to the whole world.Read more on the business