Riikka Jäntti, Lola Rogers (trans.) Little Mouse’s Holiday, Scribe Publications, July 2019, 40 pp., RRP $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 978192532220
The “Little Mouse” series is created by Finnish author/illustrator Riikka Jäntti. This is the fourth title and they have been translated into Swedish, Danish, Japanese, Chinese, Nepalese and English, among other languages. The Nordic origin of the books is obvious to the adult reader with this one telling the tale of Little Mouse and Mummy Mouse travelling to Grandpa Mouse’s summer cabin on an island to pick lingonberries. They also light the fire for the sauna and use an outhouse.
The book has a lovely old-fashioned feel to it, being just the right size for small hands to hold and having illustrations in muted tones showing domestic interiors and landscapes. Jäntti uses pen, ink, watercolour and gouache in her artwork and has won awards for her books, both fiction and non-fiction.
The text is simple and could possibly be used as an early reader. The illustrations show much more than the words say to enhance the familiar scenarios parents experience every day. For example, on the page which states “Little Mouse felt bored. Really bored”, the pictures show him climbing the backs of the seats on the train.
Don’t let the traditional style of this book put you off – this small hardback is delightful.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage