In this visually detailed, quirky, translated picture book by award-winning French-Canadian illustrator, Marianne Dubuc, readers are invited to join Mr Postmouse as he loads up his cart with letters and parcels and sets out to visit all the animal dwellings in the neighbourhood. Each large size page shows a cross-section drawing of an animal home allowing the reader to peek inside and seek out all the intricately drawn and humorous details of the animal families’ daily lives. Every illustration is full of fascinating depictions offering the potential for hours of pleasure to observant children and for shared explorations by parent and child. There are many dwellings to pore over and far too many clever, funny and imaginative ideas to note, with a couple of examples being Mr Bear’s beehive, pipe and tap contraption to bring honey directly into his home or the ingenious system of funnel, pipes and slide ensuring that the Crocodile family’s home is sufficiently swampy.
The short, clear text and subdued, matt blue-green tones of the page backgrounds allow attention to focus on the visual jokes and clues and the mingling of animals and characters from the natural and folk tale worlds. This deceptively simple picture book is very interactive and child-friendly and will give hours of fun and enjoyment to children of 3 years up who love to spot quirky detail. It would also offer plenty of opportunity for discussion about animal homes and for creative designs and ideas. All in all, a welcome addition to the shelves of libraries for Foundation and KS1 children.