A delightful and simple story that young children will love.
When Mouse moves into his new house, he thinks it’s going to be perfect. But then he finds there’s already quite a collection of animals he’ll have to share with: he discovers a big brown bear behind the piano and a crocodile crammed in the bath. When a tiger comes whizzing down the bannister it becomes a bit of a squish, a squash and a squeeze. The animals don’t know what to do until they hear a rumble under the floor – it looks like they’re going to have an even bigger problem. Or are they?
Suitable for children at the lower end of the picture book age range, this is a delightful and simple story that young children will love. There’s excellent use of dialogue repetition, reminiscent of classic stories for this age group such as Chicken Licken. (For example, I’m a scary [insert name of animal], in a scary house and there’s NO ROOM HERE or Mouse’s constant refrain And no more stuff and nonsense!).
The story is fun to read with a strong beginning, middle and end. I particularly liked the original resolution which brings both more space and a new animal friend. There are quite a few more words than most picture books for this age but the pacing is good so this doesn’t matter.
There’s also a strong message for children. I love the way the animals all pretend to be brave and scary when they’re clearly neither. Young children will be able to equate with the way things seems initially frightening and will be reassured that most things aren’t really as scary as they seem.
While the story is strong, the illustrations are what makes this book really special. The pictures are bright and appealing and perfect for the age range. The expressions on the animals’ faces are truly wonderful (all the more impressive because they are portrayed so simply) and there are some lovely details in the pictures. I suspect children will enjoying finding the spiders that are on almost every page while my personal favourite is the small snail clinging to the underside of the toilet. And I can’t finish the review without mentioning the wonderful pop out page at the end which reveals a house with plenty of room for everyone.
If you enjoyed this, why not try one of Tracey Corderoy’s many other picture books. For younger children, The Bookbag enjoyed Never Say No to a Princess! by Tracey Corderoy and Kate Leake and Just Right for Two by Tracey Corderoy and Rosalind Beardshaw.
Review first published on The Bookbag