“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
When I think of a children’s book that really mattered to me as a child, Muffin Mouse’s New House by Lawrence Di Fiori immediately comes to mind. There were so many things about this book that appealed to me as a little girl. It is a story about a mouse whose home is destroyed in a storm and her friend advises her to move into a teapot. I loved hosting tea parties when I was a little girl, and I loved imagining that a little mouse might want to live in my own teapot!
Also, when I was a little girl I loved to use my imagination, especially when I would play with my dollhouse. I was very particular about laying out the furniture for my dolls, so reading a book about a mouse who was just as particular about her home made me really connect to the story.
Another reason why I love this book so much, especially when I was a child, is because I associate it with my mom. As the youngest of four children and the only girl, reading stories like this was purely “me-and-mom” time. My brothers had no interest in this story, but I would ask my mom to read it to me over and over until the pages frayed and the binding came undone – a sure sign of a well-read and well-loved book!
And finally, this book meant a lot to me because it was visually captivating. The illustrations are so detailed and do an excellent job of supporting the storyline, especially because I couldn’t read the words! Also, the book is sort of in the shape of a teapot, which i thought was so cool (and fun to hold). Muffin Mouse’s New House remains a treasured favorite – it is the first book that I really remember hooking me into wanting to know how to read, and it nourished my already wild imagination!