Mouse in the House
‘Who is the mouse that lives in this house?
It’s a soft toy mouse with a squeak in its tail.’
Water colour and white gouache with a scratchy texture done with a pen nib.
Author: Gillian McClure
Illustrations: Gillian McClure
Year Published: 2015
From the front cover bird’s-eye view of a wooden house on a hill and its four local inhabitants (hawk, squirrel, cat and dog) we are held in a spell of page turns as this gentle bedtime story moves us through exquisitely illustrated spreads towards the final image of a sleeping baby, arm cradling a cloth mouse. And throughout the pages, in question and answer format, the text speaks of a mystery: who has heard, seen, smelled, touched that, as yet unseen, mouse that lives in the house on this hill? Each of the creatures, in turn and through rhyme, claims some sensual knowledge until, at last, the revelation page shows us the ‘soft, toy mouse with a squeak in its tail’. The visual journey takes us from the lofty heights of the hawk, downwards through the squirrel’s tree, into the dog’s garden, past the cat at the threshold until we are alongside the baby. An accomplished ability to orchestrate this delicate play of rhyme, rhythm, perspective, pattern, shape, colour and light defines this picture book for the very young that offers delight at each re-reading.
This is a delightful book to share with a very young child. The simple, rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud and the muted illustrations provide many opportunities for conversation about the various animals that feature in the book. The little twist at the end, where we learn the identity of the mouse, will also appeal to young children as it reflects something from their own experience.
June Hughes, The School Librarian Vol 64 No 1 Spring 2016 Online Reviews
What child (and their parents!) can resist a cast of cute creatures?
Talented author and illustrator Gillian McClure works more of her animal magic in this warm and reassuring story about a baby’s mystery mouse.
Is there a mouse living in this house? The bird has seen it, the squirrel has heard it, the dog has smelled it and the cat has touched it with her velvety paw! But this is no ordinary mouse… just wait and see.
Packed with beautiful, bold, eye-catching illustrations that are guaranteed to enchant babies and toddlers, this gorgeous little tale has an irresistible squeak in its tail!
Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post
The story explores all the senses. The bird on the tree sees the mouse. The squirrel hears the mouse. The dog smells the mouse and the cat touches the mouse. It's very simple and effective...The colours and lines of the pictures are perfect: bright but not garish: ever so slightly blurry. I particularly like the 'mouse' endpapers. It's a very welcoming story and would make a wonderful present to take as a present for new parents.