Age Range: 3 to 6
The Mummy Shop is written by Abie Longstaff and illustrated by Lauren Beard who also worked together on The Fairytale Hairdresser stories which we love. A little boy’s search for the perfect Mummy is given an amusing and original twist with the inclusion of animal characters who all have their own ideas about how to be the perfect parent.
The Story: A little boy is very cross with his Mummy so when he sees a newspaper advert for The Mummy Shop he decides to look for a new one. The little boy has fun with the first mummy that The Mummy Shop sends him but he doesn’t like her cooking. He complains but the second mummy that he is sent isn’t quite right either nor is the next. After trying four different mummies the little boy realises that his own mummy is the perfect mummy for him.
The complaints that the little boy has about his mother will be familiar to all children who don’t like being told to tidy their rooms and are not allowed to bounce on the sofa. Luckily The Mummy Shop has a mummy who is great at bouncing but unfortunately has a limited repertoire when it comes to cooking (the menu is great if you like carrots!). The shop also sends a mummy who doesn’t mind mess but isn’t soft and squidgy enough to be cuddled and although the last mummy is almost perfect she doesn’t know what the little boy’s favourite dinner is and what his favourite books are. It is at this point that the little boy realises that his mummy is the best because she knows him so well.
The story is told by the little boy in an easy to read text and Lauren Beard’s bright and bold illustrations are full of detail. The fox who owns The Mummy Shop looks very dapper with his pink bow tie and when we first read the story my daughter was very curious about his old fashioned telephone (which contrasts with the laptop that he uses to find the final mummy!). All the animal mummies have very comforting, friendly expressions but we don’t meet the little boy’s own mummy until the end of the story.
Double spreads at the beginning and end of the book show the different animal mummies that can be ordered from The Mummy Shop catalogue. My daughter’s current choice is an elephant mummy. She says, “The elephant can spray me with water to keep me cool!”
The Mummy Shop is a very amusing and original story which would be a great book to give as a gift to all perfect mummies.