From first glance of the Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, I had no idea what to expect. The cover seemed nice and different, but the only thing I could base my opinions on was the Kate Greenaway Medal seal that was placed in the top corner.
This all changed when I opened the pages to see what intricate and unique illustrations and presentations that Emily Gravett had in store. I have never seen a picture book with this many details and components. The interactive maps and pull out pieces create a total piece of art. The ripped or burned look of the edges surrounding many of the these pieces and the pages added a distinctive component to the theme and topic of the story.
I thought it was good that the book exposed the concept of fears and that it’s a universal experience that all individuals have. However, I’m worried that the terms for each specific type of fear might be too advanced for the intended audience of the book.The writing style used by Gravett is very simple and I think corresponds well with the crazy amount of illustrations and creative aspects that are occurring throughout the rest of the book. I also enjoyed the large amount of text on the newspaper clippings and posters, which allow older children to have more reading practice. However, the book can still remain simple enough for younger kids who just read the text and not the additional pictures.
I took this book originally to read to children at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and every time I have read it since, I have found new things. The uniqueness of the book really stood out to me and I think that is what entices children to read it. Children’s eyes bulged and wondered what would happen if they turned a page or pulled up a flap. Things like this are what books need to do—exciting children and making them learn to love to read!
I encourage you to look into this awesome article from playingbythebook.net about activities to go with Little Mouse’s Big Books of Fears and many of Emily Gravett’s other great books.