'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 12 July 2019

Review: Horatio Squeak

Horatio Squeak is a beautiful tale of a little mouse who finds his big voice and uses it in the most courageous way.

Horatio is the smallest of 12, in a family who live with little more than they need at the bottom of a big house. When Horatio is invited to a party in the attic, he's taken by surprise, he feels worried and frets about going. With encouragement to be brave from his mum and a thimble-sized cake in his hands he sets off through the house to the party upstairs.

After an anxious journey darting through the house, Horatio is greeted by a mother cat, at first this seems concerning, but she quickly makes him feel safe and welcome, and he joins the party with her three marmalade kittens. Horatio holds himself well and they all play nicely enough until an unsettling event occurs. Lightly heart thumping drama follows, as does Horatio’s courageous action and new found voice.

The combination of a story beautifully written in rhyme by award-winning author Karen Foxlee and illustrations with heart-warming textures, colours and details by Evie Barrow work together in perfect unity. An encouraging message about facing fears and speaking up for yourself, even if you feel shy leaves a strong impact.

I adored so many aspects of this book from my instant love of Evie’s traditional gouache and coloured pencil illustrations, Karen’s delightful character building words and the connection I felt when recognising Horatio’s charming but sometimes shy characteristics from those of my own children.

With 40 thick pages and a beautiful high quality cover, this is a book to display, love, treasure and of course, read time and time again.

Karen Foxlee is the author of many books for adults and children, including the recent success Lenny’s Book of Everything. Evie Barrow is an established artist and illustrator, Horatio Squeak is her debut picture book.

Title: Horatio Squeak
Author: Karen Foxlee
Illustrator: Evie Barrow
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, $27.99
Publication Date: 1 July 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760650476
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book