Marianne Dubuc

Up the Mountain

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Mrs Badger is very old, but every week, she sets off for her walk up the small mountain by her house, greeting and helping others along the way. She is very wise and knows a great deal about nature. One day, she befriends Leo, a little cat who wants to join her on her walk.

Under the expert guidance and care of Mrs Badger, Leo's confidence and knowledge blossom and the pair enjoy weekly rambles together. As time passes, Leo has to wait for Mrs Badger, guiding and supporting her until the time comes when she can no longer make the journey. The mountain gradually becomes Leo's in the same way as it was Mrs Badger's and one day, he gains a new companion- a little rabbit- just as he and Mrs Badger met and the cycle of sharing the wonders of nature is continued.

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This is a lovely story, celebrating the joys of the outdoors and the value of relationships that cross generations. The support and care which they offer each other is beautifully portrayed; quiet companionship and discovery is enough for each to enjoy sharing and being together. Mrs Badger's words of wisdom...

Mrs Badger knows that life is full of decisions and that you should listen to your heart.

...and gentle guidance speak volumes to us all.

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The illustrations are lovely. Soft colours depict simple scenes of the countryside with lots of delightful details to enjoy. The story offers much to discuss and may well motivate children to climb to 'the top of the world' so that they can share Leo and Mrs Badger's experience of admiring the view or spend time foraging (with care!) to enjoy nature's bounty. 

As with all Book Island books, 'Up the Mountain' is beautifully produced and offers something a little bit different.

Up the Mountain     Marianne Dubuc

Book Island    ISBN: 978-1911496090

LONGLIST REVIEW: Here Comes Mr Postmouse

The story starts on a Monday morning as Mr Postmouse sets off on his rounds. No delivery is too hard for him as his parcels and letters need to be delivered to all manner of places. It doesn't matter whether the post is smelly, suspicious, large or small, Mr Postmouse will deliver it all!

One of those books you have to read again and again, 'Here Comes Mr Postmouse' is a book full of stories waiting to be told! Wonderful cut-through illustrations allow the reader to see into the homes of the creatures Mr Postmouse delivers to, offering so much to notice, discuss and enjoy. Mr Bear, for example, has a bee hive on his roof which is hooked up to a pipe so Mr Bear can have honey on tap! My knowledge of stars is not brilliant, but I believe he has a picture of Ursula Major (the Great Bear) on his wall! Senor Snake's house continues over several pages as he warms himself under heat lamps and digests a surprising shape of something he has swallowed! There is a gentle humour in the pictures- but they also offer so many possibilities for learning and discovery. 

Not only can the reader find out about the creatures involved, the illustrations offer so much potential for story telling. Any one of the pictures could have stories developed about the family living there- I love Mrs Turtle's mobile home and the Croc's house! The limited text about Mr Postmouse's deliveries allows for the reader to imagine and embellish to their heart's content.

Great fun, beautifully illustrated, 'Here Comes Mr Postmouse' is sure to become a firm favourite!

Here Comes Mr Postmouse   Marianne Dubuc

Book Island      ISBN:978-0994128201