Saturday, October 9, 2010

What We’ve Been Reading – Oct. 9, 2010

The Brambly Hedge Series by Jill Barklem

I’ve missed writing these posts!  Summer was just too busy and I took a break from all the memes I normally participate in.  We’ve read so many great books that I almost don’t know where to begin.  

Early in the summer I began reading longer books to M as we ate lunch.  He loves books and his attention span for a good story has always been amazing.  Amazing, as in totally flooring me when he would sit still (this is a boy who never sits still) for a long Dr. Seuss book when he was 11 months old.  There were two of them actually – Are You My Mother? and To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street (which is a pretty long book!).  A good book has always been worth sitting for with him, something I’m very thankful for!  It seemed like those months between 1 and 2 1/2 years were nothing more than a succession of him toddling over to me with yet another book in his hand.  :) 

Okay.  Enough bragging. (sorry!)

I want M to begin learning to visualize stories in his mind without needing to see the illustrations, and the Brambly Hedge books by Jill Barklem are perfect for that.  They do have beautiful illustrations, and I lshow them to M after reading the story to him. 

Honestly, some of these books aren’t all that long (although some are), but they are each full of suspense and magic.  I mean “magical” in the sense of a young child’s view of the idea of small mice who live in a little village and have homes like we have, only in miniature; and who have work to do; and who, best of all, go on wonderful adventures

The nice thing about these books is that there is almost always a suspenseful moment, and it’s then that I close the book and leave M wanting more.  ;)  We normally take 2 days for each book. 

Hands down, his favorite of the series has been The Secret Staircase.  The two main characters are 2 mouse children – Primrose and Wilfred.  It is midwinter and the village is preparing for its annual winter festival.  As Primrose and Wilfred rehearse a poem they plan to recite, they go searching through the attcs of the Old Oak Palace (the home of Lord Woodmouse), for costumes.  Primrose finds a key, Wilfred finds an old door behind a curtain, and together they find an old staircase leading up into the tip top branches of the oak tree.  The climb the staircase and… you have to read it to your child to see what they find. ;)

This book sparked M’s imagination like no other book has done.  He spent weeks with a little key from a small piggy bank in his pocket.  At random times he’d grab my hand and whisper that he’d found a door.  We’ve gone all through our house, “discovering” old hidden rooms. :)

His other top favorites from this series are The High Hills and Sea Story .  I hope you check these great books out!

For more reviews of children’s books, check out Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

Have a beautiful day! :)



  1. I tried to find some of the books in our library after reading about them at Reading My Library. They only have a couple. We read The High Hills and enjoyed it. Sadly the books are out of print and very hard to find used!

  2. Hi I am Nicole from I found you on a blog hop and wanted to drop by and say hi. I really like your blog, and am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

  3. Thanks for joining WMCIR again - you've been missed :) I have never heard of this series before, and I will add them to our reading list. It's been kind of a challenge for us to read longer stories unless they are audio books - there are so many good picture books I still want to read with Anna and so little time...

  4. Thanks for the book reccomendations, I'm gonna have a look at them. We are always on the lookout for new books for Deen!

  5. These sound wonderful. I just checked, and they're at my library.


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