I’ve been meaning to post about this utterly gorgeous book for ages, but I am glad that I’ve only just got around to finishing off the review as it means I can post it today, in celebration of the birthday of its lovely author and illustrator (I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning that…)
I first came across Clara on Twitter, where she is like a fairy godmother to everyone with whom she comes into contact. It’s not often you come across such a good egg (as Mum would have said) and her personality comes across very strongly in her books. We are lucky enough to have read a few of them, but ‘Lucky Wish Mouse: Sweet Dreams’ is H’s current favourite and has been elevated to the rarefied status of a ‘keeping book‘. Praise indeed.
Clara’s illustrations strike the perfect balance between being colourful and engaging for young children, but also being timeless and beautifully detailed for the adults who are sharing them. This story follows the adventures of the ten Tinies as they get settled down (or not…) to sleep. Each Tiny has a reason why they just don’t want to go to bed yet, none of which involve the need to reenact an elaborate Fireman Sam-style rescue of a lone soft toy, but C and H seem to identify closely with the Tinies nonetheless. Lucky Wish Mouse has a solution to each problem (and frankly, I’ve yet to come across a dilemma that couldn’t be ironed out by chomping on some buttered crumpets):
One of Clara’s most wonderful talents is her ability to channel the everyday worries that all young children experience to a greater or lesser extent and to treat them openly, honestly and with great sensitivity. Children can tell immediately when they are not being taken seriously but Clara and Lucky Wish Mouse are on their side all the way, cheering them on and giving them a supportive little boost when necessary.
Even if your children weren’t afraid of the dark (at the moment C isn’t a fan, but H is less bothered about it) this would still be a great book to read with them. How could anyone not love a double page spread that shows a cake stand playground and a teapot house?
Needless to say, all the Tinies finally find themselves tucked up safely in their chocolate box bed, with a confetti mobile hanging from a paperclip. (FYI, that previous sentence was probably one of the most brilliant ones I’ve ever had reason to type.) Just LOOK at the ten teeny pairs of shoes lined up at the food of the bed:
I am now very keen to seek out the rest of Clara’s Lucky Wish Mouse books (I DEFINITELY need to get the Christmas one ready for this coming December) and cannot wait to revisit ‘Martha and the Bunny Brothers: I Heart School‘ when the preparations start hotting up for C to start Big School in September.
As I mentioned above, Clara is a thoroughly awesome person and doesn’t just limit her great work to writing and illustrating. She also takes part in many fun bookish events (you can see her in conversation with her mum (the legendary Shirley Hughes) and brothers at the Oxford Literary Festival on March 16, 2013 – check out the booking information here) and she is a friend to every child she comes across. She has sent C and H signed copies of her books to add to their loft treasures (read my post about it here) and also recently sent us our very own kit to make little beds for our very own Tinies.
I can only apologise to Clara, as our kits were used to make something a little, ummmm, ‘different’.Yep, C and H used their bits and bobs to make what is apparently the bedroom of Pontypandy’s Mountain Rescue Centre. I can only hope that Fireman Sam and Tom Thomas are not distracted from their roles as emergency services professionals by the ribboned doorway and wildly patterned floor, though you can rest assured that they will be getting all the sleep they need snuggled up under their soft, fluffy covers.
Thank you, Clara, for your totally terrific books and for providing us with a wintery afternoon’s entertainment. Today we will be mostly drinking tea out of our best cups and eating mountains of cake to celebrate the birthday of our favourite good egg 🙂