Books Contours of Love Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Meta-Reading Picture Books Reading Themes

Love For Monique Felix’s Wordless Mouse

Monique Felix's Wordless PictureBooks

Myra here.

One of the reasons why we have reading themes is for us to be led to authors whom we are not familiar with. I am so glad to share with you a relatively-new-to-me author (I reviewed one of her wordless picturebooks a few years back here) whose other works I have only now discovered after going through our library shelves trying to find picturebooks about love.

The Valentine

Written and Illustrated ByMonique Felix
Publisher: Creative Editions, 2013 ISBN: 1568462476 (ISBN13: 9781568462479)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Still a month to go before Valentine’s day, but since we are celebrating love anyway, no better time to share these picturebooks than now.

The first few pages show this adorable mouse, looking somewhat disconsolate, until he started gnawing at this page – forming a heart:

I love the entire concept of another narrative hiding beneath the page, just waiting for the mouse to unravel it – and it isn’t just the greens that he will find under this page…

… who it is, I shall leave for you to discover. One thing I can assure you, though, he won’t be looking disconsolate anymore.

The Opposites

Written and Illustrated By: Monique Felix
Publisher: Creative Co., 1992 ISBN: 0886825695 (ISBN13: 9780886825690)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

While I enjoyed The Valentine, I found this one even more clever and ingenious. Instead of just one furry, adorable mouse, we get two!

Without any words, the images depict the very concept of opposites, yet done in a very subtle manner that would make the reader stop and think a little bit:

Both pages show seemingly-different preferences of the two mice, ostensibly to depict how different or opposite both are – for instance, while the white mouse prefers the cold or the winter, the black mouse prefers basking in the sun in tropical weather.

The image above is a classic example of how the art makes the reader think, which I found to be just clever in its simplicity. The ending is also awww-inducing, showing how fundamentally similar these two mice are, despite the fact that they seem to be ‘opposites.’

The Boat

Written and Illustrated ByMonique Felix
PublisherCreative Company, 1993 ISBN: 1568460805 (ISBN13: 9781568460802)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This picturebook has no connection to our current reading theme on love, but I couldn’t help sharing it – as I give love to Monique Felix’s artwork. This one is reminiscent of Suzy Lee’s wordless Wave.

There is a gradual build-up to it, however, as this mouse ponders and considers how he will prevent himself from being overwhelmed by what is beyond this page whose edges he is gnawing tirelessly.

The title should give you some clue as to how this clever mouse coped with this brilliant blue:

These three are gorgeous wordless picturebooks that are perfect for little hands, and will undoubtedly make those little artists want to gnaw their little snouts into the page and create stories behind stories of their own.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: 5 of 40 (Switzerland – Ethnicity of Author)

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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