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This Is Mouse
An Adventure In Sewing
Brenna Maloney

FunStitch Studio (Distributed in the UK by Search Press)
2 February 2015 / ISBN 9781607059776
Juvenile/ Non Fiction / Toymaking

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Meet Mouse – a lively character who loves to travel. He is made from scraps of fabric and doesn’t take long to put together but this is just the start of his adventure – an adventure in sewing!

I have seen – and reviewed – a lot of books filled with wee stuffed toys. There are a lot of them around but I haven’t seen anything quite like this before. Mouse has an adventure in each chapter going on safari in Africa, to the South Pole and to the Moon. While in these locations he meets all kinds of other creatures and needs different outfits and accessories from a rocket to a boat and there are patterns for all these things. At the end of each chapter there is a story illustrated with the projects showing what Mouse got up to. What a wonderful way to make simple toys for children that are sure to engender all sorts of imaginative play. This book is written in a very user friendly and entertaining way, almost as if the author was right there with you. Adults can make everything for children, but apart from the mouse (a little tricky for beginners) everything else is pretty simple and older children will have fun making it. There is a section at the front showing what you need, basic terminology and techniques such as dealing with curves. I like the way that only a very basic sewing machine is needed and everything in the book most sewers will already own; there is plenty of scope too for a lot of recycling and using up of odds and ends. Everything is not even made from fabric either; Mouse’s jungle lean-to requires some sticks, the robot is made from clay and tinfoil, there is rock shelter constructed from polystyrene and a sugar cube igloo. This all reminds me of my own childhood crafting and encourages you to think outside the box and use your imagination. Where else could Mouse go next? I do hope that Ms Maloney creates another book so we can all find out, but the meantime this book has certainly inspired me to find out by myself…

If you cannot find a good range of toymaking and sewing materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2015