I adore this book. Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City by Anne Sawyer-Aitch is a terrific little romp of imagination and fun. But, more than that, this book is simply gorgeous. It works beautifully as a story to read with children, but it also makes a wonderful picture book.
Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City is the second in a series by Sawyer-Aitch, following young Nalah through adventures galore. In this book, Nalah is upset because most of her imaginary friends have gone on vacation leaving her seemingly alone. Of course, her family is still around, but they are all too busy preparing for a big family picnic to pay attention to Nalah.
However, not all of the imaginary friends turn out to be gone! Mad Tooth, a mouse who loves to chew on Nalah's socks (but only one sock from each pair), is still around. Mad Tooth finds out that Nalah is sad and missing her friends and decides to take Nalah on a wild adventure through the sock drawer and into a mouse metropolis. The fun that ensues is filled with lively play, dancing, new friends, taffy, and a sock monster.
The adventures of Nalah and her imaginary friends are sweet enough, but what I truly loved about this book is the illustration.
Stunning. Gorgeous. Bright. Bold.
Sawyer-Aitch's process, as described at the end of Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City, involves two pencil drawings or each illustration, coloring them in, cutting away key pieces, and layering the two over a lit surface. The result is full of bright, colorful movement and emotion. It is a technique I plan to try in my own art soon.
- At the start of the book, Nalah's imaginary friends are going on vacation to various places around the world. They specifically mention Australia and France. Find each place on a map or globe. Consider calculating the distance from your own home. How would you get there? What would you do there? What do you think each of Nalah's friends are doing there?
- Use the story to discuss emotions -- Why is Nalah sad at the start of the book? What other emotions does she feel throughout? How do the other people and characters in the book feel? What do you do when you have those emotions?
- Ask, "What would you do in each situation presented in the story?"
- Try the illustration technique described at the end of the book -- this would be a great art activity for older kids, even teens.
- Nalah and the Pink Tiger Facebook page (the first book in the series)
- Nalah and the Pink Tiger website
- Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City on Goodreads
- Buy Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City on Amazon
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review.
However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.***