This magical tale from the pen of Corderoy and the paintbox of Warnes is seriously cute and laden with sibling tension and tenderness.
Monty is that traditional figure - the much-put-upon elder brother. His little mouse sister is forever taking over situations, spoiling his fun and meddling in his playtime. He never has a moment's peace. So, on his birthday when he gets a magic set that is designed for only one he eventually loses his cool and tells Milli to butt out. He goes so far as to wish that she would turn into a warty toad and disappear - and then Milli is nowhere to be found, allowing Monty some blissful quality alone time.
But when teatime arrives Monty is grief-stricken at the notion that Milli really is gone. Happily, she springs from her hiding place and the siblings are tenderly reunited. And there's an added, magical bedtime surprise in store, too.
Corderoy, as ever, creates lovable and realistic characters, for all their mouse appearances. Monty exasperation is amusing and Milli's attention-seeking enthusiasm is adorable. The text zings with some lovely words and funny asides, and there are great sound effects, too. There are different font sizes and stresses to help drive the tale along.
Warnes' illustrations are warm and bright, with lots of blues, yellows and greens. The animals' bodies and expressions are beautifully depicted. And the subtle details of mouse life - a cupcake as a birthday cake, the recycled bedroom furniture - are equally sweet and smart.
This makes perfect bedtime reading for antagonistic siblings in need of a sweet story to remind them that they have more fun together.
Thanks for reading,