Marianne Dubuc’s light and joyful story of one mouse’s journey delivering post tells a tale of companionship and the importance of the little things.
The story begins with Mr Postmouse and his cart which is stacked precariously with colourful wrapped presents and parcels (including bizarrely, a fish and a bucket of apples). He travels from home to home of creatures big and small, real and fictional. ‘No delivery is too hard for Mr Postmouse’ as he hikes through mountains, dives in the ocean and risks going past animals who given the chance, would probably eat him (I’m looking at you Señor Snake).
Author and illustrator Marianne Dubuc has produced a book that will make you smile. The sky is deliciously blue, the grass is beautifully green and the animals are rosy cheeked. Mr. Postmouse is welcomed and greeted with warmth wherever he goes. With each page he visits a new home that matches its owner’s characteristics, illustrated with meticulous detail. Many of these creatures are inventive and adventurous, including a travel obsessed pigeon and a bear who has come up with a clever way to keep his honey jar constantly stocked. She touches on dark humour in places too: a fox pretends to be a package in a chicken coop and Mr Wolf’s house includes rabbit slippers and sheep skin everywhere.
The simplicity of Dubuc’s character names, her clever use of alliteration (such as ‘Penguin’s Place’ and ‘Magpie’s Birds’ House’) and flat, block colours in pastel and earthy hues makes this story so easy to follow that you become immersed in her illustrations. Tracing through underground tunnels and rooms in the tree tops, children will enjoy finding and returning to hidden visual treats and an abundance of fairytale references. This nod to fairytales turns the book into a story of unlikely friendships, as Goldilocks eats porridge with Mr Bear and Dragon receives a doodle-filled letter from Damsel.
As well as a story about the home and what it says about you, Dubuc depicts the importance of friendship and the little act of kindness which sending post brings. Even the yeti has tarts delivered to him! The book ends with Mr Postmouse coming home to deliver a present to his son for his birthday. Inside, his furniture has been made from recycled human objects such as thimbles and drawing pins, which reminds me of one of my favourite children’s novels, The Borrowers. Although their house isn’t as big or as full of possessions as the other homes, they have all that they need — a roof over their head (made of cheese) and one another to eat cake with.
Also published on the Look Book Report.