Thursday, 11 August 2016

Here Comes Mr Postmouse

Here Comes Mr Postmouse by Marianne Dubuc (Book Island) Translated by Greet Pauwelijn HB RRP $26.95 ISBN 978 09941282 1 8

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

A label on this book’s cover says that the originating publisher (from Canada) won the title of ‘Children’s Publisher of the Year’ in the Bologna Oceania Awards. By the creator of the picture book, The Lion and the Bird, this is a picture book which won the 2015 Best Picture Book of 2015. Thus one comes to the book with high expectations.

The artwork, in muted watercolours, has a child-like quality about it, but it extends the written text in ways that any child would find fascinating and would spend many hours pouring over. This is because there are many elements to each page, both pictures and cut-aways of places such as a house, underground, even in branches of trees.

On Monday Mr Postmouse loads his parcels onto his cart and sets off to deliver them. His first delivery is to Mr Bear’s house where we see Bear eating breakfast with a small girl (maybe Goldilocks?) Here is the first cut-away: we see into a room of Bear’s house with its hive on the roof with a pipe running into a tap that drips honey, as well as Bear’s library and his furnishings. At the next stop, the Rabbit family, there’s an illustration of the house with its underground warren of rooms (with two seven layer bunk beds for all the rabbit children.)

Mr Postmouse delivers to numerous birds, to a squirrel, and a dragon (with whom he lunches), and on to a mole, and then a nest of ants (with queen ant on her throne). When he delivers to Mrs Turtle, we can even see into her house which she carries, of course, on her back. There are many more deliveries to many more types of animals until finally the over-worked mouse arrives home at the end of the day to be greeted at his own home by his wife who has organised a birthday party for him.

There is no doubt that small children will love this book and will spend many hours ‘reading’ the illustrations. My only quibble with this book is that the text typeface is far too small for small eyes (even for adult ones!) Suitable for ages 3+ year.s

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