Mouse’s Wood


Mouse’s Wood opens with a map of the wood. It inlaces a bluebell glad, elderflower patch and then Rabbit’s House amongst much more. We linger over the map, wondering at its life and intricacy. However, when we begin the book, we meet Mouse albeit by lifting the flap of his home and peeping in. It seems that it’s January, when ‘a new year wakes‘. Mouse is lying in bed, dozing with a book.

He’s strolling in the winter chill in February. What’s more, we recognise that he’s passing Grey Squirrel’s house. When we lift the flap, we find Grey Squirrel in stripy socks, cooking.

Hedgehog has an A-frame home. There are spring daffodils on his porch, though he’s in dressing gown and pyjamas as he ‘shakes sheets’ before handing them on the line with Mouse’s help.

By August, we’ve journeyed to Badger’s allotment, where ‘armed with pots and spades and barrows‘ Mouse and Badger ‘gather up/ the carrots and the marrows’.

The wonder and discovery are so thorough and fulfilling! It seems every care has been taken, from the flora and fauna that might be discovered through the seasons, to the attire and the feelings too.

All of this means, that Mouse’s Wood is a truly remarkable feat of storytelling and illustration. Bookwagon adores this book. We suggest it as an ideal gift choice alongside being a title to choose to linger over, snuggled up, or alone.

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Mouse’s Wood

Alice Melvin, with text by William Snow

(Thames & Hudson)

We visit Mouse’s Wood across a year, arriving in January, when the ‘new year wakes/ beneath the softening snows’. It seems all is snuggled away. However, we can peek through the cut out window, and thereafter lift the flap to discover Mouse reading in bed.
In February, Mouse is wrapped ‘up warm/ against the winter’s chill’ so that he might stroll in the ‘morning mist’. However, he’s helping Hedgehog in March, as the ‘wind shakes sheets and tosses trees‘. Again, as in each double paged month, we’ve an opportunity to discover the creatures from the woodland map. What’s more, we can lift the flap to peep inside each home!
Then again, we’re seeing the changes to the forest, from the first buds on the trees, to the flight of goldfinch, the burst of April cherry blossom, or a huge ‘stretched out – chequered sheet’ May picnic. Here we see a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker within our first sighting of nesting birds.
Bookwagon is magnified by this book. We cannot keep turning and thereafter browsing through the pages, investigating, enquiring, checking the rhyming text and exclaiming. Alice Melvin has created such a glorious book of discovery and celebration in Mouse’s Wood. What’s more, alongside titles such as I Am the Seed that Grew the Tree or A First Book of Nature, we suggest this as a perfect gift, a year round source of joy and inspiration.


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