Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts

By Emily Gravett (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Filled with the most beautiful illustrations this is a visual feast of a book.  Follow Little Mouse as he lists the animals that make him run away.  Quite funny because it’s a mouse most people run away from! He starts with a lion and moves on to a shark, bear, wasp, crab, crocodile, rhino, owl, jellyfish and snake.


When I read it to my 5-year-old niece she asked why we should be scared of crabs and owls, and it did make me wonder whether we’re putting ideas into little minds that these animals are to be feared, instead of just treated with respect and care.  (A crab will pinch, an owl could eat the mouse.) I love the clever use of origami patterns, holes through the pages, flaps and nibbled pages.  Author Emily Gravett is always a delight to read and this book is no different. She is twice winner of the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal and the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize Bronze Award and has loads of lovely books to her name, including Blue Chameleon, Wolf Won’t Bite! and Again! If you’re interested in seeing how she creates her award winning illustrations she has tutorials here.  You can also check out her other books on her website – they’re all delightful.  I met her when she came out to South Africa last year and having seen what a lovely, warm and creative person she is makes me enjoy her books even more.     

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