The Mouse and The Coal Mine - My favourite children's book so far this year!
At the library this week we were lucky enough to find this amazing book. Living in the Welsh valleys and around the corner from a miners memorial statue, mining is something we definitely want to learn about with the kids; especially as I grew up listening to my grandfather telling me stories about working in the coal mines. Firstly we were really happy to have found a book on mining suitable for children but on top of that, the story is actually located in the area we live in at the moment and features the miners memorial near our house that Cain has drawn as a learning activity in the past. Cain was really excited for us to find this book and so were we.
We sat and read the book this afternoon with a cup of tea after Cain watched a documentary on Welsh mining last night. The book is called The Mouse and The Coal Mine and is written by Harvey Williams, David Cook, Freya Perry, Howard Meredith and Mrs Marilyn Phillips. In the story the Mouse called Maisie visits her Grandad in Aberbargoed after being chased by a Tom Cat she had teased. When she arrives at her Grandad's he tells her all about when he worked in the coal mines, he then takes her to visit his two friends who had worked down the mines with him many years before, the Horse and the Canary, Maisie learnt how everyone had important roles down the mines, both Human and Animals. The story teaches young children the basics of Welsh coal mining History without being unsuitable or disturbing to them. It also teaches to remember those who worked down the mines and how they all worked as a team and where a close community. It was a truly heartwarming children's story and Cain thoroughly enjoyed it. We have laid daisies at the miners memorial as it says to in the book which was really nice for Cain to do as well.
After reading the book Cain drew the inside and outside of a coal mine with charcoal, then drew a miners lamp and started making plans and creating characters for his own story about coal mining that is going to include himself and our Cat, Hamish after being inspired by The Mouse and The Coal mine. We also discussed things mentioned in the book such as the miners lamp and tin baths which he was really interested in.
Another thing we loved about this book as the wonderful illustrations by Osian Grifford, that made the story leap out of the page and fit perfectly with the theme of coal mining.
Probably the nicest children's book I've seen in a while!