Need a House? Call Ms Mouse!
Doris Susan Smith
A & U Children’s, 2022
40pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
The sign outside her home says that Ms Mouse & Co are “builders, designers and decorators” and certainly she has a portfolio to back her claims. All the animals want to live in a house designed by Ms Henrietta Mouse, because she is the only mouse in the world who understands exactly what makes a squirrel or a rabbit, a caterpillar or a frog feel at home.
With her faithful mouse helpers she has built just the right home for so many of her forest friends and each is shown in beautiful detail on each double spread from the spaceship for Squirrel to the underwater Atlantis for Trout to the highly tuned web for Spider. Fourteen homes in all, so what does her own home look like?
As the 2022 season of The Block draws to a close, the interest in home design and décor is rising, and I am always amazed at the number of children who not only turn up to view the open houses but who can speak quite knowledgeably about the contestants and what they have achieved. Some even aspire to be on the show themselves. So this picture book will inspire their imaginations as they think about what their own house might look like, taking into account their personal preferences and foibles, or perhaps inspire an activity that involves designing a home for an Australian animal, also considering their unique needs. Combine it with books like Puffin the Architect, and Built by Animals and there is the basis for a range of skills and strengths to come into play combining STEM and art that might even kickstart a career choice…