Fiddlesticks by Sean Taylor; illustrated by Anne Garland (2014)

Fiddlesticks!Fiddlesticks was the top pick from my weekly picture book bounty, according to my five-year-niece, Esther. The reason? Because there was a fold out page with a treehouse that had a waterslide of course! Tuck that wee gem away if you ever plan on writing a picture book. Oh and don’t forget to throw in a great party with plenty of cake (I think I might be starting to crack the secret of Enid Blyton’s success…)

Mouse loves her house, except one day she notices the window is slightly crooked. This was a bad thing to notice because in trying to resolve this minor issue, Mouse creates total chaos. Bear fixes the window, but in the process, pushes it right off the wall. And when Squirrel tries to sort this out he taps one of his nails through a water pipe. And on and on it goes. Mouse’s potty mouth gets the better of her, “Fiddlesticks, rats, hopscotch and nang dang darn it!” she explodes. I’ve sort of ruined the ending slightly in my introduction, so yes a fabulous replacement treehouse is created. Now that I look more closely I see the completion of the new house is celebrated with cupcakes and orange fizzy drink. Picture book bonus points!

The colours are delightful, not so bright and “primary coloury” as most picture books, and there are some really good lessons about perfectionism and failure in this cute story.

Check out Fiddlesticks at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Fiddlesticks from Fishpond.

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