Tag Archives: Sir Mouse to the Rescue

Sir Mouse to the Rescue by Dirk Nielandt, illustrated by Marjolein Pottie

Mouse has a sword. She wears a suit of armour. She is a knight. She is bold Sir Mouse.

Dragon does not have a sword. She does not wear a suit of armour. She is just Dragon.

Knights fight dragons. But Mouse and Dragon never fight each other. Mouse and Dragon are best friends.

Join Mouse and Dragon as they rescue Prince, outwit Cat, have a fancy dress party and find out all about friendship, knighthood and the true meaning of happy every after.

Sir Mouse to the Rescue is my favourite of new local publisher Book Island’s launch titles.  It’s a collection of five funny tales about an unusual friendship between a mouse (who is also a knight) and a dragon.  The wit and humour of Dirk Nielandt’s stories will appeal just as much (if not more) to adults as children.  The conversations between these two wonderful characters will have you and your children laughing out loud.

“Maybe I can rescue Prince,” says Dragon.
Mouse bursts out laughing.  “Don’t be so silly,” she says.
“You are Dragon, not a knight.  You you ever read books?”
“No,” Dragon admits.
“Exactly,” says Mouse.  “Who rescues the prince in books?”
“Um…” Dragon says.
“It’s always the knight, never the dragon,” says Mouse.

Apart from the conversations between Mouse and Dragon, the thing I like the most about this book is that roles are reversed.  Sir Mouse is a girl, it’s the prince stuck in the tower not the princess, and a knight and a dragon are friends not enemies.  I especially like the last story in which Prince asks Sir Mouse to marry him.  Sir Mouse puts on a dress and considers living happily ever after, but she decides,

“I want to live happily ever after.
But I don’t want to be a Princess.
I wear a suit of armour. I have a sword.
I am a knight. I am bold Sir Mouse.”

Marjolein Pottie’s illustrations, which were created by a combination of collage and paper-cutting technique, are absolutely stunning.  I love the different patterns that Marjolein has used for Dragon’s scales and the paper-cut illustrations are a very effective way of telling the story.  This beautifully produced book is finished off nicely with the patterned end-papers.

Sir Mouse to the Rescue is perfect for reading aloud or for newly independent readers to read by themselves.  The stories are short and funny, and the text is broken up into blocks to make it easier for children to read.  This is the first of a series of stories about Mouse and Dragon so I hope we’ll get to read more soon.  Get a copy of Sir Mouse to the Rescue from www.bookisland.co.nz from 11 November.

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Introducing new local publisher – Book Island

When I was contacted recently by Greet Pauwelijn introducing me to her new local publishing company, Book Island, I was very excited.  Apart from the fact that her company has a FANTASTIC name, I was excited because she told me that they will be publishing the very best Dutch children’s books in English.  I absolutely love the first three books that they will be publishing and you will love sharing them with the children in your life.  You can read more about Book Island’s first books and Greet’s journey to realising her dream below.
Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich, Sir Mouse to the Rescue and Bernie and Flora are three stunning picture books soon to be released by Book Island, an up-and-coming children’s book publisher located in the Kapiti Coast.
Owner and publisher Greet Pauwelijn’s goal is not only to publish outstanding children’s books in English and Dutch, but also to add an extra dimension to the stories by organising activities inspired by them – enabling children’s enjoyment of each book to extend far beyond its pages.
In Book Island’s first title, Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich, a small boy builds the biggest sandwich in the world. Following in his footsteps, we invite you to come and help us build our own gigantic sandwich at the book’s launch on 11 November using recyclable materials – bring your own recyclables and see how high we can get!  There will also be exciting activities based on Sir Mouse to the Rescue, which chronicles the adventures of Mouse, a stubborn knight and her long-suffering friend Dragon, and Bernie and Flora, a heart-warming tale of friendship and flowers.
The publication of these three titles will fittingly mark the three-year anniversary of Greet and her family’s move to New Zealand – a country, she says, that has been incredibly supportive of her endeavour to become a children’s publisher.
The inspiration for this career move came as Greet was translating New Zealand author Barbara Else’s The Travelling Restaurant (Gecko Press, 2011) for a Belgian publishing house. “While translating this book – my first from English to Dutch – I suddenly realised that, instead of telling other publishers about possible bestsellers, I might as well translate and publish these books myself.”
Publishers, editors and translators were all fortuitously present in Greet’s social circle – “Even our accountant had been working in publishing for years!” she laughs. “I also met a publishing consultant while waiting at the traffic lights in Wellington, and my son’s friend’s parents turned out to be well-known book designers here…”
Greet says it felt “like lucky stars were falling from the sky”, and knew that she’d made the right move. She welcomes you and your family to join her on 11 November to celebrate both the release of these books and the beginning of a new chapter in the Book Island journey.

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