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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Here Comes Mr Postmouse
by Marianne Dubuc
Age Range: 6-8
Each day Mr Postmouse loads his wagon ready for the day's delivery of letters and parcels to the animals on his route. It is a busy round as he has to visit all manner of abodes, whether it's climbing ladders up trees to deliver post to the Birds or Mr Squirrel, scaling the snowy peaks to the Mountain Goats or visiting the Crocodile's home near the water.
Award-winning Canadian author and illustrator Marianne Dubec, of the best-selling The Lion and the Bird, (also published by Book Island), has created a visual feast. Through the detailed cross-section double-page spreads the reader can follow Mr Postmouse on his journey and take a peek inside the homes of a whole host of animals. There's the Rabbit family's house, with a sleeping rabbit propped up against the chimney, carrots growing from the roof and underground rooms that feature high-rise bunk beds. Then there are the underground homes of Mrs Mole and the Ants, or the mobile house of Mrs Turtle. Crocodile's house is a little humid while Mr Wolf's house has a burglar pig hiding under his kitchen table.
Mr Postmouse has a brief respite when he stops for lunch with Dragon at his den, although even this is not without danger, which is why he is encased in a special suit for protection as Dragon cooks the sausages from the flames out of his mouth. He is also able to breathe a sigh of relief when he finds he has no post for Seňor Snake whose hothouse home stretches over multiple pages.
There are numerous hidden visual jokes – a toilet in use in the rabbit household, a worm reading a newspaper in the Moles' house and a very suspicious parcel, with an unmistakable busy tale and wily nose sticking out, is delivered to the hens and many more throughout the book. Dubuc's attention to detail is meticulous and with so much to look at children (and adults) it is a book to be looked at again and again as there will always be something new to discover.