• Picture Book Snob

Mootsy and the Awfully Big Bite

by Lindsay Myers and Tara Canniffe

Mootsy and the Awfully Big Bite is the first book from mother and daughter team, Lindsay Myers and Tara Canniffe. Lindsay is a lecturer in NUI Galway and Tara is an eight-year-old student at Galway Educate Together National School. During lockdown in 2020, Lindsay and Tara collaborated on, and independently published, their children's literature debut. The text is written by Lindsay while the illustrations are all Tara's work.

This tells the story of what happens when a little girl, Aoife, is bitten by her pet gerbil, Mootsy. Aoife is unable to get Mootsy to release her finger. It's not until Aoife finally sees the situation from the terrified Mootsy's perspective that she manages to break free of his grasp.

Mootsy and the Awfully Big Bite is an amusing and engaging story which encourages empathy in children. The simple but entertaining text is ideal for beginner readers. Brightly coloured, lively and cheerful illustrations make this book even more amusing and attractive. There's lots of humour in the images and my favourite scene depicts Aoife recalling all the other creatures which have bitten her - some may surprise you!

At just eight-years-old, Tara Canniffe is a remarkably talented artist. Her illustrations are incredibly professional and animated. If I didn't already know that the artwork had been created by a young child, I'm not sure if I would have guessed. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Tara does in future. A sequel is already planned and Mootsy and the Awfully Big Bite is only the beginning of an exciting new series and publishing enterprise from this dyanmic duo.

Mootsy and the Awfully Big Bite is available to purchase from mootsyandme.com with all profits going to the Galway SPCA.

Here's an article Lindsay wrote for Books Ireland Magazine about the importance of intergenerational collaboration in children's books

A huge thanks to Lindsay and Tara for kindly sending us a copy of Mootsy and the Awfully Big Bite in exchange for an honest review - all opinions expressed are my own.

Lindsay Myers and Tara Canniffe

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