Mouse and Mole have The Secret to Happiness

Mouse and Mole: The Secret of Happiness by Joyce Dunbar and James Mayhew

It’s time for another venture into the world of those dear friends, Mouse and Mole. And the latest offering of three new tales is just what we all need right now….The Secret of Happiness!


author: Joyce Dunbar

illustrator: James Mayhew

Graffeg Ltd. (11 May 2021)

ISBN: 9781913134839

What is the secret of happiness? Is it curling up with a favourite book for a good read? Surely! As long as you’re not disturbed by a friends’ fidgeting and hiccupping…. Or maybe it’s a rambling, pointless walk….if you can get one. Perhaps you’d find the secret of happiness while surrounded by good friends calling round for tea and making a big fuss over you, which really helps when you seem to have forgotten the sercret of happiness. It could be found in all three. Maybe happiness is a secret at all! Maybe it’s found in the simple things…

Such a wondrous, warm addition to the series, The Secret of Happiness is filled with quiet reassurance, bringing delight to the most restless sort of days. These three stories of friendship, allowing feelings to be what they are, pondering quirks and differences with compassion; gripping the attention with their depiction of charming, everyday life. Winding down during the day, the pair are trying to enjoy a good book, but Mole is having a bit of trouble and a rather frustrated Mouse attempts to help his friend. Mole wants to have a lazy, carefree walk, while Mouse decides that walk should have a purpose. And darling Mole wakes up having discovered the secret of happiness, only to immediately forget it! All of these seemingly ordinary problems are met with wit and humour, while reminding that the answers can really be so simple. We can easily relate Mouse and Mole, as Dunbars’ clear, loving writing readily gives us a look into the world of two good friends…and our own.

With the joyous, beautiful illustrations by James Mayhew on each page; it is easy to become wrapped up in the daily life of Mouse and Mole. The natural colour palette, sense of light, shade and movement, the tiniest details and change of expression allow the reader into a view that feels very personal and so filled with life! They speak of an effortless joy and easy rhythm to be found in the simple things; companionship, understanding, a walk, a read, making time for others….very satisfying when you let go and let them happen.

I do love Mouse and Mole, with their gentle antics and wisdom. This is a perfect book to share, for newly competent readers (or for anyone of any age) to curl up with when they want a good, peaceful, funny book. And now, when I’m looking for the secret of happiness, I know right where to go.

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