Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Little Mouse by CW Lovatt - a review by Diana Milne


The Little Mouse by C W Lovatt


"From the creator of the best selling Charlie Smithers Collection comes an endearing tale of enchantment and forest creatures with a powerful message. This charming story, with appeal to both young and old, shows that even the smallest of us is able to change the world and that nothing is impossible with trust, friendship and love."

In a beguiling departure from his usual genre, C W Lovatt introduces us to Kit, the smallest and youngest mouse in the Enchanted Forest, and takes us on a journey of delight and discovery following the mouse and his companions as they travel to find food after The Great Fire.

From the very first pages The Little Mouse has a magic and charm that is rarely found and can only be likened to such well known classics as The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, delighting readers for almost a hundred years, and one of my favourite books, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis. I can well see this book being read a hundred years from now. It deserves to be.

Although most of the characters are forest creatures, they have individual and very well developed personalities that the reader can relate to and get to know and love. Gort the badger is typical of his species, by appearing grumpy and bad tempered. Kit the mouse persuades him that being happy is a better option:

The badger’s brow wrinkled doubtfully.

“Happy? Me?” and then, “All the time?”

“Yes, all the time.”

“Oh.”

Gort pondered this imponderable for a moment, and then stretched his lips up from his snout in a dreadful smile.

“Howsh thish?” he asked through his fangs. Tod took a nervous step backwards, but the little mouse said, “That will do nicely, thank you..."


The scope and range in the book showcases the author's prestigious talent and versatility and this tale, which will appeal to all ages, carries not just one, but several important and poignant messages. Without being 'preachy,' the book lets the reader carry away a positive and life affirming precept.

With his clever use of words, words that often can express several meanings, Lovatt ensures that we have a tale that can be read on many different levels, making it suitable for the very young to the very old, all of whom will be bewitched by the charm and enchantment of being allowed to be into a magical land for a little while. The author also introduces a character, Smithers - the valet and Major Domo of the King - who can only be a relative of his famous Charlie Smithers, with a similar life outlook, work ethic and attention to detail to the well known man.

Each idea, each stage of the journey of the forest friends, is perfectly thought out and every detail meticulously but not tediously noted, the author having thought through the situation from the perspective of the creature, or human, in question, which adds greatly to the depth and richness of the narrative. We meet Kit here, his friend, Orso the bear, is in mortal danger, having been wounded deeply by a spear:

"It was he who had brought Orso to this place, and he thought that the bear’s death would be a burden too heavy to endure. The spear had gone deep – he had seen the blow struck – had watched, horrified, as the shaft had sunk into his friend’s body, and had seen the blood…

Then, caught in mid-sentence, the transformation began.

The blood…

The blood as it coursed through his body, gifting life – coursing… surging…weaker now…dwindling….but, still Life. As though his mind had become separated from his body, he rose and followed the passage of the deep wound into the bear’s body. At length, he came to the great heart, and a sound like a leaking bellows. There was a cut, a very little cut, in the wall of the artery.

It was then that the voice of the wizened old mouse appeared in his mind.

'Healing….healing….yessss….yessss…' "


Other than Kit and Orso, we meet Amos the porcupine, Lulu the skunk, Gort the badger, Rowena and her son Chaser, the deer and fawn, Bumper the hare and Tod the fox, plus the King, Queen and Princess, Smithers, various princes and guards and Farmer Brown and family and their unfortunate dog Brutus, all of whom help to create a glorious tapestry of a story.

The book is enhanced (if that is possible) with beautiful illustrations created by the talented Angel-Rose, who brings to life the pictures that Lovatt's words form in one's brain. The pictures are meticulously detailed and show unforgettable moments of the story in beautiful colour that will live in the reader's minds.

There are so many beautiful moments and little phrases or sentences to make the reader delight in the written word. This brought little tears to my eyes, it seems so very beautiful and so very, very profound: 'Why, Lord?' the little mouse asked through little tears, 'Why has this happened?'

The timing the author employs throughout the story is exceptional. Whether it is used for a dramatic moment, or for humour or to startle the reading audience, Lovatt never misses a beat and the reader reacts as if on cue, with the smile or the cry, yet the book is never predictable. I could not have foretold the incredible way the story unfolds near to the end of the tale. The a scene is described from a different point of view to the expected one and it had a major impact on not only the characters of the story, but on me! an impact that will not lessen with time but will remain clear in my mind.

It is a beautiful enchanted fantasy, with so much meaning and so much depth. I really enjoyed it and it made me smile and cry and believe in magic and totally took me out of myself for a while.

Another triumph for CW Lovatt. He has a totally unique and absolutely massive talent.


The book is available to pre-order, and will arrive on your Kindle on May 25th. Click here to preorder

About CW Lovatt


CW Lovatt is the award winning author of the best selling Charlie Smithers Collection, the short story anthology, “And Then It Rained,” and the critically acclaimed “Josiah Stubb: The Siege of Louisbourg.” 
Interim,” is the second book of the Josiah Stubb trilogy and the third part is getting close to completion.

You may read CW Lovatt's blog here at Story River

I was privileged to interview C W Lovatt in 'Diana Talks To...' 

To read the interview please click Diana talks to CW Lovatt

The author hard at work with the help of his research assistant, Sindy, who told him everything she knew about little mice!
The picture is shared with the permission of absolutely no one. I blatantly stole it from the author's Facebook page 

About Angel-Rose, who created the inspirational illustrations.

I am Angel-Rose Smith, 25 from the UK. I spend the majority of my time drawing, painting or crafting. I enjoy baking and reading - or being a classic dork and playing video games!

Fun fact, I failed art at school 😂



Ⓒ Diana Milne February 2018 revised May 2018

4 comments:

  1. Fabulous review. Would love a copy.

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  2. I shared with the comment : Everyone needs a little bit of delight in their life during these strange and stressful times. This book my just be it.

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  3. What a charming story! Gosh, this would also make a fab present!

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  4. 2 days to go! I already pre-ordered.

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