Wednesday 13 December 2023

Angus & Moose Read a Book

Angus & Moose Read a Book by Jane Godwin & Terri Rose Baynton (Scholastic) PB HB RRP $19.99 9781760661557

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Jane Godwin is a highly acclaimed author of many books for children across all styles and ages. She is published internationally and has won numerous awards. Godwin was also a Children’s Publisher at Penguin Books Australia for a long time.

Angus and Mouse are best friends. But when Angus brings home a beautiful new library book to share with Mouse something terrible happens. Can Angus forgive Mouse?

Godwin has written a thoughtful, sweet story that celebrates friendship and reading. The voice is endearing and helps you fall in love with Fergus and Mouse. The opening sentence introduces both characters and shows the depth of their friendship. A long time ago, Mouse found him asleep in a pile of hay in the back garden. The dialogue is character driven and childlike. ‘Mouse will really like this book.’ The librarian Ms Goode calls Angus the wrong name. A child wants to be called by the right name. I like that this is included in the story.

My favourite part of the story is when Angus is challenged the most. ‘Mouse what have you done? You’re not supposed to eat it!’ The story tension increases as Angus tries to solve the problem. Godwin has Angus not wanting to read his library book anymore because the damage will be discovered. A child too often hopes a problem will go away, but it doesn’t. I love the takeaway message that Angus doesn’t let what happened ruin his friendship with Mouse. Forgiveness is an important message.

The illustrations by Baynton are so whimsical and perfect for this type of picture book story. The cover feels warm and tender with Mouse perched cheekily upon the end of Angus’ nose as they both gaze at each other. The soft pastel colour palette suits the characters and the friendship theme. The mix of single- and double-page spreads enhance the text and give the book a more classic picture book feel. I think the characters as animals really strengthens the story. It was clever to make Ms Goode the librarian a flamingo. I love the page where Angus is in bed worrying and Mouse gently has a paw on Angus’ arm. It shows so much more than words can about their friendship.

Angus & Mouse Read a Book is picture book for 3- 8 years about friendship, forgiveness and reading. The endearing characters and strong themes are sure to appeal to parents, teachers, and librarians. This is a book that is sure to be found upon many bookshelves to be visited again and again.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.