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Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts

We have been sent another lovely book to review by Macmillan and this one has inspired us so much that it was hard to know when to write this post as we have more ideas we would like to follow up.  However, we have had the book a while so I thought we should let you know what we think of it, and what we’ve been up to so far.

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts by Emily Gravett is a picture book with a difference.  It is the follow up to the multi-award-winning Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears which was published in 2007.

Book of Beasts 1a

Little Mouse has found a book about the world’s most terrifying and ferocious beasts, but they are all a bit too scary for him.  So he changes the book to make it less frightening.

Book of Beasts 2 (2)a

He gives the lion some pretty mittens to cover up his sharp claws, and removes his loud roar.

Book of Beasts 2 (3)a

He removes part of the instructions for making an origami shark, and adds his own for making an origami mouse instead.

Book of Beasts 2 (4)a

The rhinoceros is given a selection of dainty shoes.

Book of Beasts 2 (5)a

The jellyfish is crossed out and replaced with a dish of jelly.

Book of Beasts 2 (1)a

And at the end, the mouse is cleverly transformed into a monster using parts he has torn from the previous pages.

When I first shared the book with the little ones (aged three and five) I think they were a bit bemused, and I felt I had to do a lot of explaining.  The older boys (aged seven and nine) liked it immediately, so I thought it might appeal more to this age group despite being a picture book.  However, the younger children did enjoy it and it definitely grew on them.  I liked it because it sparked off so many ideas for activities we could do together.

We talked about how it would be fun to draw our own pictures of animals with a difference and we decided to play heads, bodies and legs (like consequences but with pictures.)

Heads, Bodies and Legs

Then we decided to have a go at some origami.  First we made some origami planes using an excellent kit from Djeco.

Origami Planes

Then Rabbit and I tried out the much more fiddly Safari Origami kit from 4M.  We just about managed the butterflies and birds which are for beginners but quite hard.  We haven’t tried the rest of the animals yet but we will!

Origami Animals 1a

The following day we had another go with the much easier Djeco origami animals kit.

Origami Animals 2a

Next, Owl wants to try following the origami instructions in the book to see if they work.  Will they make a shark or a mouse or something else?!

And we are also planning to draw some animals and then change them in the way the Little Mouse has done.  That should suit all the children, as the older ones love drawing and the little ones love cutting and sticking!

So what else would you do?  Any more ideas gratefully received.  I have a feeling that this book is going to be keeping us busy for a while!

The book was given to us free to review.  The origami kits were our own but I have linked to Craft Merrily because that is where I would go to buy Djeco products.