Mabel and me: best of friends by Mark Sperring and Sarah Warburton

cover image

HarperCollins, 2013. ISBN 9780007468362.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Picture book, Friendship. When her friend, the mouse tells Mabel that she is her best of friends, Mabel asks the simple question Why? Stuck for an answer, the pair is interrupted by a French photographer asking to take their photographs. He asks Mabel if he can take her photo as well as the little creature with her. Mouse thinks he is talking to her and calling Mabel a little creature and so is cross on her behalf, saying that they will go to the photo booth instead. There their feet are seen by a passing ballerina who tells Mabel that her feet are just right for learning to dance, but not the hairy feet of her companion. Mouse again takes umbrage and thinks the ballerina is referring to Mabel's feet and storms off. The confusion is resolved when Mabel explains what has really been meant by the two, but the mouse is stunned that now she knows why she likes Mabel. Its because of the crazy things she says.
Surrounded by whimsical illustrations, the story moves along with a variety of fonts and font sizes, a large pallet of colour and fascinating buildings and interiors. Every page is stacked with humour, be it in the illustrations, the background or the words. A lovely treat for discussions on friendship and working together, this book will be well used in the classroom and home, the front cover inviting a reader to pick it up. For an adult presenting the notion of irony with children, this is a most suitable example.
Fran Knight