Thursday, September 28, 2017

the Church Mice

As much as I enjoy looking at the new picture books when they come into the library, it often seems they are written to show off the cleverness of the author, rather than delight and instruct the children. It wasn't always that way.

But recently I've been interlibrary loaning every Church Mice book I can get, by Graham Oakley. We used to have those where I work but they stopped circulating and had to be removed. He began the series in the seventies and they are dated, but since I remember that era (well!) I can relate, and they. are. so. hilarious. If you need a good laugh, and are of a "certain age" they would do the trick.

They're more wordy than the average picture book and the illustrations have lots going on. It may be that Mr. Oakley was also writing for the adults' amusement, but I'm pretty sure that kids would enjoy these stories, too.


  1. Hooray, my library system has a number of them! I just reserved several. I have NO PATIENCE for shoddy children's books. I agree with your assessment, and I would add that often adults forget to consider the emotional needs and viewpoint of a child. The issues they are writing about are not even important to children! I hope you are familiar with Shirley Hughes, a British children's author? She is probably my favorite - both the text and illustrations. I've never met a kid who wasn't charmed by Shirley Hughes.

  2. I remember these books very well! My elder daughter used to get them out of the library to read and I got as much pleasure from them as she did!

  3. I remember these! Cute books!

  4. I love the Church Mice books! I have one on my shelf, which I think I did get at a library sale.

  5. I love cats. I love children's books. I DO interlibrary loan. And I'm off to find me some books! Ha! Thanks!

    I've read all the Caldecott winners and am working my way though the Newbery winners. It is pretty dang fascinating to see how writing for children evolves.