The Little Mouse’s Tail by Ardi Alemi, Digital Alchemist Media Productions
This striking picture book seems to be a labour of love involving a lot of people, with Ardi Alemi, and Charlotte and Russell Wanhill mentioned on the cover. There is also the large number of backers who raised over $13,000 on Kickstarter to get the book into print. It all began with Ardi’s wish to create illustrations for a children’s book for his daughter, so he wrote an English version of an old Persian fable that his grandmother used to tell him when he was a boy.
Digital Alchemist Media Productions is a one-stop shop for video productions, and the book is for sale for $30 via their website (URL above). It’s probably also for sale at good children’s bookshops. More information (plus a reading-aloud video) is available via a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LittleMouseTail.
The hardback book has good visual appeal with its white cover and fat pink mouse. The 58 pages offer a lengthy rhyming story, with a repeated design of a full-page stylised picture on the left-hand pages and the text on the right pages. The story follows the desperate efforts of a mouse to have her broken tail stitched up again – how can you get something mended when the tailor has no sewing yarn and the yarn-spinner has no wool? The intrepid mouse has many frustrations but she gets there in the end. The moral of the story is explained on the last page.
The rhyming text is lively (with a bit of bumpy scansion here and there). The cartoon-type pictures are delightful, with the pink and white mouse standing out beautifully. Some interesting perspectives are used. But at 58 pages (instead of the standard 32) the story is quite long, and I think it would be better being read with a child on a cosy one-to-one basis rather than to a fidgety preschool group.
ISBN 978 0 473 39223 9 RRP $30 Hb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman