About The Mouse Mansion

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The Mouse Mansion

The Mouse Mansion is created Karina Schaapman. It is not a dollhouse but the setting for her series of children's books. The Mouse Mansion is made of cardboard boxes and papier-mache pulp mix. Waste materials, small pieces of authentic fabric and mini works of art by real artists are often use for the interior.  This Mouse Mansion is no less than 3 meters high and 2 meters wide! It took Karina 3 years to build it and it didn't stop there!

Meet Sam en Julia

Sam & Julia live in The Mouse Mansion, a world in itself. Julia is super curious and stubborn. Sam is very shy and well behaved. Whatever Sam has too much of, Julia has too little and vice versa. They are the very best of friends and share everything together.

Read more about Sam and Julia

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The world of The Mouse Mansion

Creator Karina builds new sets for every book. There is a theatre, a fair , a circus and even an entire Mouse-harbour compete with canals, bridges and boats. All these sets together form the world of the Mouse Mansion, a world that is growing every day. 

The creation of the Mouse Mansion

Karina has worked full-time for 12 years building and creating the world of the Mouse Mansion. It took her 3 years to finish the structure on this photo. The Mouse Mansion did not originate as a hobby. Karina had dreamed of making a children's book for years but couldn't find the time for it. In 2008, the time had finally come to focus on her book. Karina doubted whether to illustrate the book with paintings or drawings. Then she realized she could also craft something miniature in 3D. She started with one room, Sam's room. It worked out so well that Karina just kept on crafting, building and creating. For all the stories, she built the Mouse Mansions and sewed the residents. This is how the world of the Mouse Mansion was born.

Safe and caring world

Karina grew up in Leiden in the 1960's. As the daughter of an Indonesian single mother, she experienced a lot of discrimination and hostility of her neighbors. At home, there was little money, but a lot of love and creativity. At the age of 13, Karina lost her mother. Due to the lack of a social safety net, she was completely on her own. With the Mouse Mansion, she now wants to create a safe and caring world, the world that she longed for as a child.Everyone is welcome in The Mouse Mansion. There is no danger and there are no conflicts. Sam and Julia learn that cultural differences are not a threat, but an enrichment of their own experience. And so, they enter the world, free and uninhibited, looking for adventures!

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The spaces in The Mouse Mansion

The Mouse Mansion exists of more then a hundred different rooms, shops, workshops, factories and outdoor areas. Each space has has its own story. Julia's house is based the house where Karina grew up. The painting studio is based on the studio of Karina's husband Eli Content. Each room has its own resident, with its own history, personality and family ties. In the books, you get to know the residents with every story!

Check out all our books

The stairwell

The stairwell is a place where Sam and Julia keep returning. From the stairwell they discover the different spaces in The Mouse Mansion. There are new adventures behind every door and hallway. There is also a special place under the stairs. The mice have built a hut here. They keep their treasures in their secret hut. The hut under the stairs is their domain; it is prohibited for adults and other children

Shops and crafts

Karina thinks it is very important that children get to know the origin of things. Things do not arise from scratch, but are created, designed and made. She shows this in The Mouse Mansion by means of the many workshops, studios and factories. 

The book series

At the moment, there are five books of The Mouse Mansion series in Dutch. Please find out which books are available in your preferred language here.
The 6th book is in the making and will take place in The Mouse Mansion museum. In addition to the book series, there is a look and find book available as well as many more products. You can find them on our webshop!

Check out all available titles.

International succes

The books of The Mouse Mansion are now translated into 27 different languages. The books have won various literary prices in The Netherlands. 
Each year, The Mouse Mansion festival is organized in one of the most beautiful museums in Amsterdam; Het Scheepvaartmuseum. During this event, Karina tells her stories and signs books. 
You can also visit our lovely store in Amsterdam with lots to see! 

More about the shop & studio.