The Seven Stories Collection holds the entire archive of one particularly famous mouse, Angelina Ballerina. However, we have written so much about Angelina recently, we thought it would be nice to explore some of the many other mice we have in the store (purely literary mice, no real ones!). If you are feeling inspired to explore more Seven Stories mice, click here to see all our Angelina posts.




Draft material by Martin Waddell for The Great Green Mouse Disaster, illustrated by Phillipe Dupasquier (Andersen Press, 1981)

November's first mouse, or hoard of mice, is the fantastically imaginative book by Martin Waddell and Phillipe Dupasquier. The book is virtually wordless, and as each page unfolds, the viewer is presented with a cross section of a hotel. Turn the page again and the action has moved on slightly, as you follow the progress of the rampaging hoard of green mice scattering throughout the hotel, causing chaos!

The archival material we hold runs to one, reasonably large, A4 file, full of Waddell's plans and notes for how the book should work. It being a particularly unusual book, I was very curious to work out how someone would go about planning it. It turns out that Waddell had some fairly concrete ideas about how he would like the book to look, and created a detailed 'story' for each characters progression on each page. The book is full of some brilliant detail, and it would take anyone a very long time to really find every different element. At the end of the book, there is even a list of things that Waddell thinks the reader might not have noticed!

Below is a sample of 'Story 4 The Mouseman', who is responsible for all this calamity:







'He is in the pursuit of the Mice and the Cat. In the cover illustration he will scoop up a milk bottle and this should be about his person as he runs. In 1 he is in the dining room, level 3, catching a glass of wine in mid air as it tumbled of the tray of the shocked waiter, who has been knocked aside by the jumping cat and cascading mice. Has has scooped a chicken from the table in passing, and is clambering over it - the table, not the chicken - to the stairs from 3 to 5.'

The Martin Waddell Collection, kindly donated by the author in 2008, consists of drafts and pre-publication material for 53 picture books and 63 educational books, including those published under the pseudonym Catherine Sefton. Several of the picture books have artwork represented elsewhere in the collection, such as Can't You Sleep Little Bear, illustrated by Barbara Firth, Tiny's Big Adventure, illustrated by John Lawrence and The Pig in the Pond, illustrated by Jill Barton. The collection also includes a series of notebooks and appointment diaries, and a series of printed books written by Waddell. 






Artwork by Emily Gravett for Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears, (Macmillan, 2007), inlaid with picture of title page of the Seven Stories copy of the book. Artwork © Emily Gravett, 2007

This artwork is an example of a much smaller collection than the one mentioned above, as it consists of just this one piece of artwork! These mice are final pieces of artwork used in the end papers, and  the 'Phagophobia (Fear of being eaten)' page. Another incredibly imaginative mouse led tale, this follows our hero, Little Mouse, on his journey through a book exploring all his different fears - entomophobia, clinophobia, acrophobia - amongst others. The pages are covered in little mouse 'nibble' marks, with several fold out pages of additional sumptuous detail, such as the 'Visitor's Map of the ISLE OF FRIGHTS'.

This collection may only contain one piece of artwork, executed in pencil, acrylic, and watercolour, but there is also an additional mouse illustration on the reverse of the card. The wider Seven Stories Collection actually does contain other work by Emily Gravett, also, by strange coincidence, of mice. Gravett kindly donated the piece above, and also her preliminary artwork, final pieces and prints of the final work for 'A was an apple pie' in Elizabeth Hammill's Over the Hills and Far Away. Some of this work is currently on display in Rhyme Around the World, at Seven Stories in Newcastle.





A Counting Book by Helen Craig, published by Aurum Press Ltd. c.1980



This month’s printed book featuring mice is A Counting Book by Helen Craig. Of course this tiny little mouse-filled book is by the illustrator of that other famous mouse Angelina Ballerina – oops!  We weren’t meant to mention her this month but this is too good an opportunity to showcase a less familiar book by Helen Craig, and one which was published before Angelina burst into the world in 1983.
This printed book comes from Pat Garrett’s Counting Book collection and is one of the smallest books in our collection, measuring just 5.5 cm square.  It comes in its own little slipcase which physically constrains the long concertina of pages.  Each double-page spread features colour illustrations of mice amusingly constructing the numbers 0 to10 out of a variety of handy objects including balloons, string, flowers, bubbles, and (as in the photo) a jigsaw puzzle ‘7’ which looks suspiciously like it’s made from pieces of cheese! The final 3 double spreads somehow accommodates 100 tiny mice!
Pat Garrett kindly donated her Counting Book collection to Seven Stories in 2006.  It consists of over 640 counting and number related books, mostly published between 1960 and 2000. Whilst this collection is made up mainly of picture books, it also includes books in a variety of formats such as board books, rag books, pop-up books, activity books, as well as three 19th Century mathematics text books and even friezes, an advent calendar, and plastic counting blocks.
To find out about Pat Garrett’s Alphabet book collection, check out our ‘Bird’ blog in May earlier this year by clicking here.

If you'd like to find out more about the Seven Stories Collection, then 




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