The Story: Two little mice who live in a barn are having trouble with the farm cat. He creeps up on them, eats their store of Christmas food and tricks Father Christmas into not leaving them any presents. Something has to be done! With the help of a friend and a rather clever Christmas present the mice find a way to make cat trouble a thing of the past.
Why is this your favourite Christmas book?
I love this gentle and funny story. It encourages children to enjoy the simple pleasures of Christmas rather than the materialistic. The beautifully-executed illustrations are warm and atmospheric, with details that draw you in to the story. Children will find something new to look at each time they read the book and will come back to it again and again
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.
I love the image of the two mice carrying the Christmas present to leave for Angus the cat. The snow, the trees, the cold starry night, the warm glow from the farmhouse windows and the detail in the foreground almost remind me of the wonderful Tunnicliffe illustrations for the book ‘What to look for in winter’!
Author / Illustrator: Nick Butterworth
Jane Hissey’s first picture book, ‘Old Bear’ (published in 1986) was instantly acclaimed a new children’s classic.
Since then, Jane has written and illustrated over 20 picture books, each one taking a year to illustrate.
Richly illustrated in coloured pencils, Jane’s books feature soft-toy characters and everyday objects that belong to her or her family. ‘Old Bear’ himself was given to her by her grandmother when she was born. He has travelled with Jane throughout the world; to schools, libraries and literary events, becoming increasingly worn and threadbare but recognisable to millions of Jane’s readers.
The 40 episode television series of ‘Old Bear Stories’ won many international awards including a BAFTA and a NY Film Festival Gold Award.
Jane has three grown-up children and lives in Sussex, England, with her husband, Ivan, who is also an illustrator.
Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
I love the illustrations of Quentin Blake and I see that he has illustrated Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’ I think the combination of Dickens and Quentin Blake would make this a lovely book to share with everyone (young and not so young) during the festive season.
Story Snug’s 2015 Advent Calendar on Pinterest