In the not so distant past going to the library was something of a struggle – JoJo would run here there and everywhere, being of the opinion that all those different aisles were obviously designed for him to enjoy the ultimate hide and seek. Occasionally CassCass would join in, and then the librarian would come and have words, sigh… Finding good books in such circumstances was no mean feat.
Now, what a difference! From the moment we arrive, all three sit quietly reading through book after book, leaving me plenty of time to look through the entire large book selection and see if there is anything new under the sun. Some days I feel I have seen every single one of them before, but on others I strike lucky. The cover or title pulls me in, I check the back to see the basic plot, then flick quickly through the inside to ascertain if it is good quality or not. If it successfully passes these tests, then it joins The Pile.
However, the ultimate test is when we get home, excitedly put all our books into our special basket (I love our basket!) and start reading.
This one was a particular gem we found on our last visit. Bertie, LissaLou and I visited Mousehole in Cornwall when she was nearly two, so it was lovely to find a book set there. We got out our photo album and the harbour looks just the same in our pictures and the book!
The book, by Antonia Barber, is about a cat, Mowzer, and her pet, a sailor called Tom, and the idyllic life they lead; he fishes, she eats. Then a storm, portrayed as a Great Storm Cat, comes to try and catch the boats who remain safe as long as they are hidden safely in their mousehole. However, they cannot leave the harbour and food runs out, so Tom and Mowzer set off to save the day – or perish trying.
The story is beautifully written and kept us all hanging on to see how it turned out. We loved the pictures with all their detail – the Great Storm Cat in particular caught our attention, as it paws unsucessfully at the ‘mice’ in their safe mousehole, hovers behind the walls of the harbour, then plays cat and mouse with their little boat out on the open sea.
Folks like me will be glad to know there is a very happy ending, and it ties in with a Christmas tradition in Mousehole, that definitely leaves me wanting to return to Cornwall!