Review Blog

Feb 26 2019

Where happiness lives by Barry Timms

cover image

Ill. by Greg Abbott. Little Tiger, 2018. ISBN 9781848699519.
In the beginning Grey Mouse is very happy and satisfied with his sweet little house which has enough room for each mouse to have fun, plenty of windows to let in the sun where he is safe and never alone. But one day while he is out walking he spots a much larger house that is hard to ignore, the home of White Mouse who invites him up to the balcony to view an even more impressive house high on a hill. Together they set out to visit it, so focused on reaching their destination they are oblivious to all the sights, sounds and smells that surround them on their journey.
When they get there, it is indeed a house like no other, and they are welcomed in by Brown Mouse who delights in showing them round her magnificent mansion. Grey Mouse and White Mouse feel more and more inadequate as its features are revealed until they come to a room that has a large telescope and they peek through it.
Told in rhyme and illustrated with clever cutouts and flaps to be lifted, this is a charming story for young readers who will learn a lesson about bigger not always being better, and the difference between wants and needs, as well as being encouraged to reflect on what makes them happy. Is it things? Or something else? Is the grass always greener?
Both the story and the presentation have a very traditional feel about them, making it perfect for young readers who relish the places books can take them. And with the aid of boxes, rolls and other everyday items they can have much fun creating their ideal home!
Barbara Braxton

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