Hickory Dickory Dash
32pp., hbk., RRP $A16.99
Mother Mouse – the one in the rhyme, the one that climbed the clock at one, then ran back down – is frantic with worry and in a desperate hurry to find her two bold sons. They had been playing outside in the moonlight when the cat pounced quite unannounced and they scarpered for safety. Now Mother Mouse is searching the house for them with the cat hot on her tail.
Where can they be? They are not in the playroom or the kitchen; not the pantry or the garage or even the backyard. Every room in the house is visited in this desperate dash, as wherever she searches the cat is there, ready to pounce but being bamboozled each time either by mouse savvy, swiftness or circumstance.
Finally, exhausted and sobbing after two hours of searching, Mother Mouse sits on the verandah almost without hope – and then she has an idea…
Even if this hadn’t been selected for the 2018 National Simultaneous Storytime it would have been an automatic hit with a wide range of readers. As with his first book, The Cow Tripped Over the Moon Wilson has drawn on a familiar nursery rhyme and given it new life with his own twist and message of perseverance and the lengths a parent goes to for the love of their children. Clever rhymes move the story along at a dashing pace and with the cat in hot pursuit, the reader wonders if this will have a happy ending. As well as the suspense there is also humour – the cat’s fate in the nursery will produce a LOL moment- as each time Mother Mouse narrowly escapes a horrible fate. Laura Woods’ illustrations use so many different perspectives that we can feel Mother Mouse’s fear as well as using light and shade cleverly to bring the house at midnight alive and put critical elements in focus.
Suggestions for using the story as part of NSS 2018 are available but as May 23 draws closer there are bound to be more and more available as it lends itself to many facets of the curriculum, including maths. But even without formal curriculum-related activities, this is just a rollicking read that is likely to become raucous as the children are drawn into to its almost vaudeville-like humour. Watch out, Mother Mouse!