‘Mouseton Abbey: The Missing Diamond’ by Nick Page

Photo © Make Believe Press, 2013.
Photo © Make Believe Press, 2013.

When I saw this sitting on the shelves of my local bookstore I absolutely had to have it.

Downton Abbey, a source of much obsession here at GeekMom, doesn’t return to the American airwaves until January 5th. But you can ease the pain during this time with Mouseton Abbey, the absolutely charming new picture book from Make Believe Ideas.

I can’t even explain how delightful this book is. The plot is kind of irrelevant to the overall enjoyment of it (for adult fans, at least), but the story centers on the bumbling and forgetful Earl of Stilton. After misplacing all kinds of everyday things he loses the family’s precious Great Big Cheesy Diamond right before the big Cheesemas celebration. And he blames everyone else for it—his daughters (Lady Ricotta, Lady Mozzarella, and Lady Fontina), Mrs. Cheshire the cook, Wensley Dale the butler. Eventually the diamond is recovered and Cheesemas is saved! It’s a sweet story that I can’t wait to read with my daughter during the holiday season—using my best English accent, of course.

Photo © Make Believe Press, 2013.
Photo © Make Believe Press, 2013.

The story is neat, but the real reason this book wins is the hand-knitted cast of mouse characters against ink drawn backgrounds. The details in the backgrounds are clever, and it’s just too much fun to see favorite characters transformed into mouse versions with awesome names. This is strictly a children’s book take on the Downton Abbey theme, though, which probably explains why Mrs. O’Brien and Thomas have not been re-imagined as mice here. It might be a little difficult to translate their elaborate scheming over cigarettes into a children’s book.

I sincerely hope this is just the first of many adventures with the cast of Mouseton. There is so much they could do with this cast of characters.

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Jackie Reeve is a Core Contributor and former Senior Editor at GeekMom. She's a librarian, a writer, and a quilt designer. She's wife to an Englishman and mom to a little geek girl, and she blogs about life and crafts at The Orange Room. Jackie's obsessed with cardigans and thinks Die Hard is the best Christmas movie there is.