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Gobbledy Books

Noggin and the Moon Mouse by Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin (Hardcover)

Noggin and the Moon Mouse by Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin (Hardcover)

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Russell’s Book of the Month for January

“Listen to me and I will tell you the story of Noggin and the Moon Mouse, as it was told in the days of old..”

When these charming hardbacks arrived at Gobbledy HQ I could not have been more excited to crack one open and dive in. As an adult of a certain age, who fondly remembers The Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Bagpuss first time around, I knew that as soon I started reading, it would give me that warm fuzzy retro glow and instantly take me back to my childhood.

And I was right.

Noggin and the Moon Mouse was first published in 1967, as one of the Noggin the Nog children’s stories produced after the black and white TV series ended in 1965. The original books have become pretty collectible these days and mint copies of the originals fetch high prices if you can find them! They were all written and illustrated by the same legendary team of Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin, the same duo that produced so many well loved childhood favourites via their TV company Smallfilms, including all of those mentioned above.

The story begins when the relative calm of the kingdom of Noggin the Nog is interrupted by the arrival of a strange silver ball falling from the sky containing a moon mouse! The Nogs are understandably quite fearful of this lunar creature at first and decide to lock it away until the kind Queen Looka takes pity on the little creature. Sensing that the mouse poses no threat, she helps it find something nice to eat (moon-daisies, naturally) and then return home, with help of few handy provisions from the grocery store. The final image of the silver ball blasting back to the moon covering everyone below in bubbles is particularly memorable.

These handsome miniature editions have been adapted for early readers by Egmont. They have lovely glossy covers and feature the original illustrations throughout. The book’s story is certainly of a different time, but in so many ways its message is so positive and innocent it could not be written now.  It is delightful and has all the hallmarks of a children’s classic. The moon mouse is of course the first appearance of an actual CLANGER, but they didn’t get their own stories until later, just after a real spacecraft had landed on the moon.

I simply loved this and couldn’t wait to show it to Russell, who said that it the best book he has read this year.

He still won’t tell me how many books he has actually read this year…

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