Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Mice of Nibbling Village

The Mice of Nibbling Village

Margaret Greaves
Illustrator:  Jane Pinkney 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
National Trust, 2011   ISBN: 978-1843651895

There are some people who think that mice are all alike, that they have similar needs, desires, and temperaments. They clearly have not spent any time with the mice who live in and around Mouse Nibbling Village. The mice who live here are busy creatures, each one of which has his or her own particular gifts and interests.

For example, young Morrikin has a passion for devices that have gears and screws, and one day he decides to take apart a clock so that he can see where “the tick might be.” Unfortunately, the clock never recovers from this experience, and now Morrikin is trying to build a clock of his own. One suspects that his time keeping device will never work like the one that he chose to take apart.

Mandy Snippet is a very different sort of mouse because she knows what she is doing. Mandy Snippet is a baker of great skill, and when she makes a loaf of bread “Never a crumb of it goes to waste.”

Just like in any village, Mouse Nibbling has its characters. There is Aunt Taffy who is so nervous that she “double-locks” the doors in her house, and Mattie is convinced that there is something spooky living in Twitchett Lane. Miss Poppitt tells everyone that she has a “hole inside,” which is how she explains away her habit of eating meals and snacks almost all day long. Could it be that this so-called hole is bigger than Miss Poppit?

In this delightful mouse-centric collection of poems, young readers will meet a wide variety of mouse characters. Some are admirable, others are funny, while still others have amusing adventures. With lovely illustrations throughout, this is a collection that will have readers wishing that they could pay a visit to Mouse Nibbling themselves. Perhaps they could have tea with Mrs. Trillaby Lee, or see Miss Dimity Moppet dancing at the ball wearing her new muslin dress.