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This mini edition has just come into the bookshop and I was immediately drawn to it. Five Nice Mice is about a group of mice desperate to make music as beautiful as the frogs. The frogs aren’t very nice though – they tell the mouse to clear off. And so the mice practice and practise and are finally ready to give a concert to the mouse community. The frogs sneak in to listen and, because they are five nice mice, they allow them to stay and they make wonderful music together.

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I like it because it has an old-fashioned feel to it, and the drawings are incredibly detailed. When I was a kid, I liked books like that – ones I could stare at for ages and always spot new things. My own two thought that the mice were super cute, and very clever. Like making instruments out of every day objects:

DSCF6444It really reminded me of the Church Mice series – a set of books as quintessentially English as you can get. They’ve been around since the early seventies and feature mice with bags of character (my favourite is the muttering Schoolmouse) and their long suffering companion, Sampson the cat. The first book, The Church Mouse, features a burglar in it (succesfully thwarted by the mice and Sampson). Because of this and the burglar in Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr, I did spend most of my childhood on the lookout for men in stripy black and white tops, masks, and torches on the prowl. It was of great concern to me that I didn’t have a cat to outwit them if they turned up.

Toby and Jess love the Church Mice too and so here’s a mention for the Christmassy one.

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You can see the appeal I hope? And lovely to read even if you don’t know what a Pastor is.

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The kids insisted I read this last night. They are desperate for me to put the Christmas decorations up. I haven’t quite succumbed to that yet…but thanks to the Church Mice, I am now feeling festive.

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