Age Range: 4 to 8
Mouseton Abbey is the mouse version of Downton Abbey. Roquefort, Earl of Mouseton (Lord Mouseton) leads a cast of cute, knitted mice (all with cheesy names) as they try and locate the missing Great Big Cheesy Diamond in time for the annual Cheesemas banquet.
The Story: It is Cheesemas and the Great Big Cheesy Diamond must be cleaned so that the guests can make a wish at the banquet. Lord Mouseton brings the diamond down from the Great Gallery and has a quick sniff of Mrs Cheshire’s Cheesemas pudding before meeting Wensleydale, the butler, who is waiting to clean the diamond. But Lord Mouseton has lost it! His staff and his daughters help him to look for it but they can’t find it anywhere (although they do find some other things that forgetful Lord Mouseton has lost). The diamond is still missing when the banquet begins…… (I won’t spoil the ending and tell you the rest!).
Mouseton Abbey is home to Lord Mouseton, Lady Brie, their three daughters and Lord Mouseton’s mother, Lady Gouda. The house is very big and even Lord Mouseton often gets lost, my daughter’s favourite part of the story is when his daughters, Ricotta, Mozarella and Fontina show him the way from the schoolroom to the kitchen by sliding down the bannisters. The cheesy names make me laugh and I like the way the action in the story moves between upstairs and downstairs with the contact between the family and the servants.
This is a lovely first mystery story for children. The text is easy to read and the action moves along through dialogue. The illustrations are muted and the double page spreads are full of little details, Mrs Cheshire’s kitchen with its Aga and deep stone sinks is perfect for a large house and we love the paintings of the ancestors on the walls throughout the abbey. The knitted mice are adorable and the attention to detail is amazing, I love the huge key hanging from Wensleydale’s belt and Lady Brie’s tiny butterfly brooch. The whole cast of characters are shown on the first double spread and my daughter likes to go through and identify everybody before we read the story.
The search for the Great Cheesy Diamond enabled us to see various rooms in the abbey and meet all the Mouseton characters. We really hope that there will be another ‘abbey story’ (as my daughter calls it).