Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel was another favorite of mine. It is four stories inside of another story. The basics are as follows: a mouse is caught by a weasel who intends to make him into mouse soup. The clever mouse devises a plan to save himself from being eaten. He tells the weasel that a good soup needs stories. He then tells the weasel four different stories which make up the ingredients for a proper soup. We follow the weasel as he gathers the ingredients allowing the mouse to escape.
I hate to use the word cute, but it really is a cute book. Lobel is also known for his Frog and Toad books. Those are also among my favorite stories. Like many good stories of fiction, it is the ones that are a little quirky that stand out to us. I am still captivated by a good illustrated story as well. Mouse Soup is highly recommended to add to your own list of reading. Yes, it is a kids book. But we are writers of fiction. The stories of our childhood were the fuel for our own creative minds. So go grab a book and be a kid for a while. You might enjoy it.