Book Spotlight: Just Like You by Jan Fearnley

‘What makes me special?’ is what the Little Mouse wonders in this story. It’s a question that most of us, including our children, ask ourselves. I think it’s this notion that makes Just Like You a very special book to read with our children.

The opening page is quite beautiful. The words and the illustrations set the scene for a gentle and soothing story- perfect for bedtime: ‘It was dusk. The red evening sun snuggled down to the hillside resting on purple pillows of clouds.’

As we sit down to read this story to our children before bed, we follow Mama Mouse and Little Mouse as they make their own journey home for bed.

Along the journey, Mama Mouse and Little Mouse pass a number of animals tucking their offspring into bed. As they do Little Mouse overhears each parent telling talking to their young.

The bird says she will fly as high as the clouds to get the finest food for her chicks. The frog says he will catch the juiciest bugs for his froglets. The rabbit says she’ll dig deep and safe burrows for her bunnies. The fox says he will keep his cubs safe from harm.

Little Mouse listens to each of these parents and thinks that these children must be incredibly special. All the while, Mama Mouse is telling him that he is special too. He doesn’t necessarily hear his mum. After all, it’s easy to ignore what is under our nose and instead be envious of others.

As a concerned Little Mouse gets ready for bed, he questions how special he really is. After all, his mum is only a mouse. She can’t fly or jump or swim or dig burrows like all the other animals.

As she tucks her child into bed, Mama Mouse assures him that he is indeed very special. She may be a little mouse but there are things she does that make him special. She tells him stories, makes him laugh, gives him hugs, but most of all loves and keeps him safe.

When Little Mouse finally understands that he is special he turns to his mum and says ‘Just like you’. We all like to know that we are special, don’t we?

The illustrations are delightful and full of detail. I especially like Little Mouse’s bedroom where his bed is a pencil box, his drawers are matchboxes and he seems to have collected a whole range of special pieces: buttons, coins, pencils and even a diamond ring.

This story is just as fitting for fathers ( as it is for mothers) to read with their children, as the story features both mothers and fathers caring for their young. It is a story that will leave you and your children feeling special.

You might also be interested in other books about mothers.

Book details:

Just Like You

Buy online from The Nile

Author: Jan Fearnley

ISBN: 9781405218870

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Books, March 2011

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