Age Range: 3 to 5
We borrowed this story about ten tiny mice starting school from the library and have read it at least once a day since. My daughter loves it and the reading is always accompanied by lots of giggles.
The Story: The ten Tinies are getting ready for their first day at school. They pack their new things and put on their coats but the Tiny Twins are missing. They’re hiding but Lucky Wish Mouse manages to get them onto the school balloon and they all arrive in time to meet their new teacher. The Tinies have a very busy day and have lots to tell Lucky Wish Mouse when she picks them up.
The practicalities of starting school are interwoven with the fantasy elements of a family who live in a teapot and go to school in a hot air balloon. Most of the mice are so excited about the first day of school that they leave the teapot before they are properly dressed but the Tiny Twins have fears and questions that will be relevant to many children, for example, will they know what to do, will they know where the toilets are. The twins are reassured by Lucky Wish Mouse and once at school they participate enthusiastically in the day’s activities (including singing loudly and trying to sit still to listen to the story – both very amusing scenarios to me as a reception class teacher!).
There is so much humour in Clara Vulliamy’s illustrations. Apart from the teapot house, the pencil box schoolhouse and the school balloon, we are also amused by the little mouse who is very proud of his sewing (despite the fact that it is falling apart!) and the mouse who takes his binoculars to school and returns home having decorated them (we are now collecting toilet rolls so that we can make our own binoculars!). The short text is easy to read and the extra comments made by individual mice in the pictures adds to the humour and creates an extra stimulus for discussion.
This is a lovely story to read to a class of new reception children. The Tinies’ classroom reflects the reception classroom with its water tray, craft tables, book corner and playdough. The Tinies have so much to tell Lucky Wish Mouse about their day that the story would be a great stimulus for a classroom display of pictures about ‘My First Day at School’.
If you have a ‘little mouse’ starting school I hope that they have as much fun on their first day as the Tiny twins.
Author / Illustrator: Clara Vulliamy