The best picture books are those where the text and the illustrations are perfectly matched. Even though the author and illustrator may have worked in different parts of the world, the book is so perfect that they could have been working side by side. A Hare, a Hound and Shy Mousey Brown, written by Julia Hubery and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley is one of those rare picture books.
‘There’s a hare in the air, there’s a hound on the ground, and watching them both is shy Mousey Brown.’ On the first page we meet these three very different characters. The hare is bouncing around, full of joy, while Mousey Brown watches on, hoping the hare will notice him. But when the fearless hare dances right up to the hound and tries to wake him, Mousey Brown has to be brave and save the hare from the hound’s jaws.
A Hare, a Hound and Shy Mousey Brown is a beautifully illustrated picture book, full of joy, mischief, and three very loveable characters. Julia Hubery’s rhyming text begs to be read aloud and it simply rolls off your tongue. It’s the sort of story that’s perfect to act out because of the three different characters and their very different personalities. The hare has lots of energy and is always bouncing around, the dog is pretending to sleep, and Mousey Brown is just watching from afar and trying to warn the hare. Jonathan Bentley’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and he’s perfectly captured the personalities of the three different characters. The illustrations are cute but full of character. I love the way that Jonathan has captured the complete joy and carefree nature of the hare, the irritation of the hound, and the admiration and worry of Mousey Brown. Even before I opened the book and read the wonderful story inside, Jonathan’s front cover grabbed me and I knew it was going to be special.
Like Mousey Brown, my heart goes pitter-pat-pounding with love for Julia and Jonathan’s book. I hope that we see more picture books by this amazing duo.