rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Canadian indie publisher: Gerbil Meets Mouse

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

Bailey J. Thompson used to love playing with her gerbils and telling stories as a child. As she grew up she began working at a publishing company, but her dream was to create inspiring literature for all ages. She wanted to share her own lessons and experiences especially with children in an accessible and relatable way. She did this through the tales of her gerbils: Mocha, Petri and Melvin, with the old Victorian dollhouse she had as a child as the background to their adventures.  

Now that Thompson has her own children's book publishing company, Gerbil Meets Mouse, based in Barrie, Ontario, she can create new stories that aim to teach children about the world we live in, and the issues, like the environment that effect all of us. While some stories are meant to be taken seriously, others have a much sillier tone. Thompson ultimately wants kids to enjoy and learn from the books. "The goal is to create a series of inspiring books that will hopefully inspire kids," says Thompson.

Gerbil Meets Mouse has three different  series of books. One is Gerbs in the House, which all take place in the Victorian dollhouse. In this series, father and son duo Mocha and Petri get into all sorts of shenanigans. The Melvin books are set in a dream where anything is possible. Thompson says that the premise of the Melvin series is that "you can be anyone that you want, and do anything you want," through the experiences of Melvin, the gerbil. 

The last series of books, EcoGerbs, is currently in production and Thompson is very excited to use this series to educate children about environmental issues. "The idea is to educate on the state of the environment, because I believe that children are the future of our civilization, and they deserve to know. So '’m hoping to create a series of books that feature two gerbils and educate children about different environmental issues, and hopefully inspire them to change their ways, or inspire them to inspire their parents," says Thompson.

She says that the state of the environment can be a scary reality for children, and even scarier for parents to address. So why use animals to teach children about serious and potentially scary issues? Thompson says that animals are a very relatable, friendly alternative to tell kids what is happening in a way that they aren't frightened for the future. 

"Some parents are afraid of telling kids about certain issues, because it is kind of scary. But, if we approach the issues in a friendly manner, then hopefully kids are more exposed to it from a younger age, and then they grow up with more of an understanding of the environment, and hopefully more of a desire to change their ways," she says.

The latest book from Gerbil Meets Mouse, Gerbs in the House: The Dilly Dally Bedtime Routine, was written by Lydia Lukidis, the newest addition to the Gerbil Meets Mouse team. The book is about the humour of getting ready for bed, and was inspired by Lukidis' three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, whom she lovingly calls "the queen of the dilly dally."

Lukidis loves writing for children, especially those around her daughter's age and up to eight years old. She says that their imagination is unparalleled and she really has the freedom to bend reality when writing for this demographic. "They really believe in the magic, and they're not jaded and trying to be cool yet," she says.

Lukidis has been writing all of her life, and the past few years she says she has been focusing on children's literature. Although she has written 17 e-books for Smart Kidz Club, she had been trying to be physically published for quite a while. Her latest book, Gerbs in the House: The Dilly Dally Bedtime Routine, is her first published book in print. 

Lukidis is the first writer besides Thompson to work for the publication company, and Thompson could not be happier with choosing Lukidis. "She's wonderful! She's made a great addition to our team," says Thompson of Lukidis.

Gerbil Meets Mouse stands alone as the only children’s literature publishing company in Barrie, and Thompson says it is a great place to be doing what they are doing. "I think that Canadians are very supportive of literature and basically it's been a lot of fun to share it with Canada and the rest of the world, as well. I have a couple purchases from places like Australia and of course the States," she says.

The Gerbil Meets Mouse Team have been scurrying around, preparing for their next few books. With EcoGerbs in production, as well as another book by Lukidis to be released in the near future, they will definitely have their paws full in the coming year.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.