The Mouse’s Apples – Frances Stickley – Kristyna Litten – Book Review

Review – The Mouse’s Apples

‘The Mouse’s Apples is a delightful tale of friendship and sharing with the unlikeliest duo. Stunning illustrations meld into a beautiful mix with the ruminative text.’

The Mouse’s Apples

One of my favourite authors. Frances’ books are written in beautiful rhyme, bursting with delicious vocabulary making them an incredibly lovely read that gently takes you through the story. The Mouse’s Apples is no exception! You are going to fall hard for this lovable duo as Mouse helps Bear learn what it means to be a kind friend – with a little mischief along the way. The illustrations are dreamy and with the words make a perfect pairing for a truly wonderful story book. One not to miss.

The Mouse’s Apples is such a brilliant story and one that will delight your children. If you are a fan of the The Gruffalo then this one will most certainly appeal. A clever little mouse using his skills to teach a mighty bear the value of friendship and sharing in her own unique way.

Seasonal books are lovely. Each new cycle of the year we look forward as a family to bringing out loved treasures from the previous year, and of course adding a few new to our collection. However, it’s also wonderful to have books that you can enjoy all year round, but can hold a special space in a particular season. The Mouse’s Apples is one of those gems. Ideal for all year around, but with the glut of apples in the Autumn Harvest a wonderful tale to snuggle up to under a blanket and munch on apples! If you’re looking for Autumnal ideas, books and activities I hope you enjoy this post here.

I love how Frances Stickley writes

If you haven’t already discovered What Will You Dream of Tonight and Love You Always I’ll tell you a little more about them at the end of this review – equally wonderful. She uses a light, rhyming style of writing that is overflowing with beautiful vocabulary. Books that introduce children to rich, new language are so important.

“Mouse’s whiskers shivered as she gazed up at the bear and nervously, she quivered…”

Just how glorious are the words Frances chooses to use in this passage? Don’t ever be afraid of immersing children in the world of tantalising words; just think of all those dinosaur names they can learn better than us.

Dreamy Illustrations from Kristyna Litten

The images are just divine. I love how Kristyna uses the subtle changes in light so powerfully to show the tone of the story at any given point. The apples are just good enough to pluck from the page. Does anyone else’s child do this? If Floss finds elements in a book she loves she collects them from the page and uses them in her imaginary play. It’s something she came up with all on her own and I love it.

Here’s Frances reading this wonderful story.

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The Mouse’s Apples Review

  • Author – Frances Stickley
  • Illustrator – Kristyna Litten
  • Publisher – Andresen Press
  • ISBN – 9781783448630
  • Publication Date – 2nd July 2020
  • Age Range – 2+
  • Busy Busy Learning Review – ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ
  • Floss’s Review (3 years old) – 5/5 Fingers
Story Sack for the Snail and The Whale with rice, playdough, decorated chalk houses, and whale and snail Holztoger figures

Story Sacks and Props

Do your children enjoy story sacks and props? I know the classes I’ve taught over the years really have. Floss most certainly does. They’re a great way to introduce a story and so helpful to draw all children into a story whatever their learning style or sensory preferences and needs. They also help children to retell the story, to sequence ideas and to be able to adapt and innovate their own stories. If you’d like to find out more about story sacks and props you might enjoy this blog post – click the link below.

More from Frances Stickley

Love You Always

“As Hoglet and his mummy walk home through the autumn leaves, Hoglet is puzzled and full of questions. Everything is changing around him โ€“ would his mummy love him more if HE changed too? Will her love ever change? But wise Mummy knows just how to reassure her little Hoglet that, whatever changes might come, her love will always stay the same.”

Listen to the wonderful Frances reading Love You Always…

Love You Always Review

  • Author – Frances Stickley
  • Illustrator – Migy Blanco
  • Publisher – Nosy Crow
  • ISBN – 9781788005234
  • Publication Date – 1st August 2019
  • Age Range – 2+
  • Busy Busy Learning Review – ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ
  • Floss’s Review (3 years old) – 5/5 Fingers

What will you dream of tonight?

What will you dream of tonight? Will it be a midnight balloon ride, sailing on the tail of a whale or swinging through the leaves on a jungle trapeze? This dreamy, sumptuously illustrated tale travels through deserts and waterfalls to shipwrecks and dragon-filled skies as a parent wonders where their childโ€™s dreams will take them as they drift off to sleep . . .

Listen to the wonderful Frances reading What will you dream of tonight?…

What will you dream of tonight? Review

  • Author – Frances Stickley
  • Illustrator – Anuska Allepuz
  • Publisher – Nosy Crow
  • ISBN – 9781788005456
  • Publication Date – 5th September 2019
  • Age Range – 3+
  • Busy Busy Learning Review – ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ
  • Floss’s Review (3 years old) – 5/5 Fingers

The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley

For more Autumnal, apple loveliness then I’d highly recommend The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley published by Pan Macmillan. I know Frances will be very happy with me adding this one in as she’s a huge Moomin fan just like we are. This again is a book that can be enjoyed all year around, but would suit a cosy Autumn read perfectly. This happens to be one of Floss’s absolute favourites – I think I can probably retell it without the book I’ve read it so many times! Do you have books like that? The Mouse’s Apples only has a couple more reads before I think I’ll have that one word perfect too.

The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley

  • Author – Tove Jansson and Cecilia Davidsson
  • Illustrator – Filippa Widlund
  • Publisher – Pan Macmillan
  • ISBN – 9781529010275
  • Publication Date – 6th February 2020
  • Age Range – 3+ has more words in than a traditional picture book
  • Busy Busy learning Review – ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ
  • Floss’s Review (3 years old, reaffirmed 5/5 at 4 years old too) – 5/5 Fingers

Audio Books at Bedtime

Floss is now four and has lots of difficulty falling to sleep – I’m sure many of you can relate to this personally or for your children. We actually come from a long line of women non-sleepers in our family. Something we have done for Floss is to record us reading her favourite stories that she listens to at night. It can take her anywhere between 1 and 3 hours to fall asleep, but she’s content and happy. Snuggled up in bed listening to stories until she drifts off into what she calls – ‘The Land of the Loveliest dreams where dreams float in and out like clouds into her mind.’ She says the stories help her to have the wonderful dreams. So if you or your children struggle to drift off to sleep then audio books might be an idea for you.

You might be interested to read about the Tonie box we also use – click the link below to the blog post. The Yoto box is one that we’re seriously considering as Floss is getting a little older as it has stories that are for an older audience too.

I’ll be adding lots more reviews to the site – if you’d like to keep up to date then make sure to sign up to our newsletter.

I Am A Capybara book front cover for book review blog post

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