‘Little Mouse’s Christmas’ by Riikka Jäntti (Review)

Earlier this year, my second little helper, Hayley, made her reviewing debut with a children’s book called Little Mouse Helps Out, and as luck would have it, we were recently offered a copy of the next book in the series.  Hayley’s still learning to read, but she’s always happy to sit down with her old man and try something new – and if it’s fiction in translation, well, that makes me happy too 😉

*****
What’s the name of the book, and who is it by?
The book is called Little Mouse’s Christmas, and it’s written and illustrated by Riikka Jäntti (the translation is by Lola Rogers).

What’s it about?
It’s about Little Mouse, and he’s having Christmas.  He’s very not patient because in December, he opened the 25th on the advent calendar even though he shouldn’t.  And then it was the last day of childcare, and he said happy holidays to his friend Pip. He decorated the Christmas tree on Christmas Day, and then Grandpa Mouse and Grandma Mouse came to Little Mouse’s house for Christmas dinner 🙂

Did you like it?  Why (not)?
Yes, because they had Christmas, and I’m looking forward to Christmas, too!

What was your favourite part?
My favourite part was when he decorated the Christmas tree because I like decorating our Christmas tree.

Was it difficult to read?
No, it was easy (sometimes!).

Would you recommend this book to other boys and girls?  Why (not)?
Yes, because they will think it has some funny parts in it, and maybe they will like the Christmas story.

Hayley, thank you very much 🙂

*****
Hayley enjoyed reading the previous Little Mouse book to me, so I was more than happy to accept a review copy of the young rodent’s latest adventures.  Once again, while the series is more suited to younger readers, Hayley had a great time reading it to Daddy and thinking about her own upcoming Christmas celebrations!

Like Little Mouse Helps Out, Little Mouse’s Christmas is a beautiful, slightly old-fashioned book (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).  As you can see from the photo, just as much care has gone into the pictures as the text, making this a book to go through slowly, asking questions about what your child can see all the way.  The language is generally quite simple, but with the odd wry nod to the supervising adult:

Little Mouse and Mummy Mouse went to the market square to buy a Christmas tree.
“Can we have this one?” Little Mouse asked.

“I think it’s too short,” Mummy said.

“How about this one?”
“Hmm.  Too bare.”

What about this one?”
“That’s a good one.  We’ll take it!”

“It is expensive,” Mummy grumbled.
But she got out the money.
(Scribble, 2017)

That’s a conversation that feels awfully familiar…

We reread the book together before writing the review, and several of Little Mouse’s experiences were rather familiar.  November consists of the young mouse constantly asking if it’s Christmas yet, and Mummy Mouse is (unsurprisingly) a little short when her son wants to play in the snow during a shopping outing.  As for the advent calendar, well, there’s a reason why they’re hidden at the top of the wardrobe in our house.

I suspect that most seven-year-olds might find the book a little too simple and plotless as there are no real complications or surprises.  However, for younger children waiting with bated breath for the big day, Little Mouse’s experiences may well strike a chord.  Over the course of the book, the young hero goes shopping, decorates the house and even helps with the dinner preparations (as best he can, even if he’s more of a hindrance at times…).  Hayley and I will be reading this again over the next week or so, and I’m sure many other little children would enjoy doing so, too 🙂

2 thoughts on “‘Little Mouse’s Christmas’ by Riikka Jäntti (Review)

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