Age Range: 3 to 7
Hopefully Captain Mouse won’t need to shout Mayday when she sails off to give her brother his birthday present. But sailors need to be prepared for anything, especially stormy weather…
The Story: Captain Mouse builds herself a boat and sets off to deliver her brother’s birthday present. It’s a calm voyage until it starts to rain and Captain Mouse’s boat crashes onto some rocks. Marooned on an island she shouts Mayday and Frog and Dragonfly come to her rescue. Undeterred by her previous experience Captain Mouse makes another boat and safely arrives onshore to give her brother his present and sing Happy Birthday.
Captain Mouse is a determined and resourceful little lady. She makes her first boat using a walnut shell and adds a handkerchief sail. The journey is perilous with thunder and large waves but despite her boat being smashed on the rocks and becoming stranded on an island Captain Mouse manages to sleep until the storm is over (which we thought was funny!). Her Mayday call alerts her good friends, Frog and Dragonfly, who bring her a cork and a leaf so that she can make another boat and continue her voyage and we love the feelgood ending. A final double spread illustration shows exactly where Captain Mouse has sailed, we won’t spoil the surprise by telling you where but it made us laugh!
The text in Mayday Mouse is easy to read and it’s a lovely first adventure story for a young child which also shows the value of having good friends to help you when you need it. Seb Braun’s fantastically stormy illustrations portray the danger that Captain Mouse is in and we love the way that she hugs the present closer to her as the storm worsens and the waves get bigger! The illustration on the back cover is one of our favourites, it shows the two mice watching the sunset and also reveals what was in the birthday present.
Mayday Mouse inspired my daughter to make her own boat. There was a lot of discussion about what would float and what wouldn’t (and the discussion is ongoing!). She finally settled on plastic bottles that float once she realised that the cardboard would get wet quickly and sink. She made two people using corks (so they would float if they fell in!) and they even have a fire to keep them warm and chairs to sit on!
We were so happy that this determined, optimistic little heroine eventually met her brother and we hope that her journey home will be less eventful!
Author / Illustrator: Seb Braun
Thank you to Child’s Play for sending Mayday Mouse. This really is a fun adventure story for little people and we love the double spread at the end of the story.