A Girl After My Own Obsessions

Almost every woman I know has iterated, “Please kill me if I become like my mother,” or something to that effect. Now as a mum, however, I take devilish delight in seeing my offspring take on little bits of me.


Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo) and Nick Sharratt (Shark in the Park) have teamed up several times to excellent effect. Honestly though, I wasn’t sure about Chocolate Mouse for Greedy Goose, at first.

I love that it’s succinct, just one line a page and the rhymes are easier on the tongue than some of Donaldson’s other works. Each animal is given a page and food-related rhyme and Sharratt’s illustrations are, as usual, refreshingly bold and very expressive for such simplicity of lines.

It also manages to include the concepts of logic,


healthy eating,




competition and




But then at the end when helpful pup suggests washing up, they all go to sleep instead.

Most people close to me will say I’m a bit obsessed with cleanliness. Okay, a lot obsessed. So naturally whenever I read it to Iris I would always add a “that’s not good” at the end, referring to them not cleaning up.


Lo and behold, a few weeks ago, we picked up this book again after a few months’ hiatus and when I reached the end, Iris refused to let me turn to the last page. She then changed the story to say they all washed up. She even added washing hand actions like a proper obsessive-compulsive! Needless to say I was howling with laughter and husband was amused but a bit afraid. Just a bit.

Now if she becomes anything near what a horrible, cantankerous, emotional jabberwocky I was as a teenager…………boarding school anyone?

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