Story time is kind of a big deal in our house. Reading is something both Jason and I really enjoy, and it is a love we have worked hard to instill in Noah from baby days. I feel like I can say with some confidence that we have been pretty successful with this too! Noah loves reading. He loves sitting with a book and reading to himself. And he LOVES reading stories before bed.
Now, as much as Jason and I love reading, and as important as it is for us to ensure that Noah enjoys reading, some nights, we simply either don’t have the energy to sit and read stories, or we’re busy and don’t really have the time. I know that sounds terrible – I feel so guilty just writing that sentence. But, it is what it is – life sometimes throws us curveballs, and some days are really busy and tiring, and unfortunately, bedtime story time takes a back seat.
But now, we have a way to combat that! Yay! Enter our new friend, “Mr. Brown Mouse”, and his collection of audio books, filled with adventure, and some important lessons too! Yup, Noah’s new favourite at story time is sitting and listening to an audio book all about Mr. Brown Mouse and his latest exciting adventure.
Mr. Brown Mouse is the brainchild of Jonathan da Canha, a Durban based graphic designer and TV advertising producer. Jonathan and his lovely wife, Debbie have two children, Hannah (5) and Tate (4). With their kids being one year and one week apart, bedtime proved chaotic, and left Mom and Dad exhausted.
“They were in completely different routines and both completely dependant on us in their own unique ways. We were tired to say the least, and the first two years after our second child came along are a blur. Just after our son Tate turned two, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This took the challenge of parenting to new levels and left us unimaginably exhausted.” Jonathan
With an increased amount of time focused on Tate and coping with the realities of an autistic child, Jonathan and his wife Debbie…realized that they needed to find extra ways to spend necessary quality time with their daughter, Hannah who, at three-and-a-half years old was experiencing her own stress in trying to understand why her parents were so tired all the time and why her brother didn’t relate to her in a typical way – he screamed a lot and didn’t know how to play with her.
And that is how Mr. Brown Mouse was born. Jonathan started telling Hannah made up stories, and let her contribute to the stories as well, adding her own creative flair. When Hannah started asking for a new story every night, Jonathan started recording the stories on his phone, to use on the evenings when he just couldn’t come up with a new adventure.
There are 18 stories in the Mr. Brown Mouse collection, and to date six of the stories have been released.
1) MR BROWN MOUSE MEETS MRS GIRAFFE
Mr Brown Mouse rides on the back of ditsy Mrs Hippo and crosses the river for the very first time! Join him as he crosses paths with crocodiles, elephants and lions and makes friends with the tallest animal he’s ever seen! A gentle first adventure, perfect for bedtime.
2) MR BROWN MOUSE & THE BIG BIG FIRE
Join Mr Brown Mouse on a courageous adventure to help save the animals and the forest from a big, big fire! With a little bit of thought and a sincere desire to help, almost anything is possible… But who will help Mr Brown Mouse when all the animals are running away? Listen again and again to this daring story of courage and character!
3) MR BROWN MOUSE & THE OWL BABIES
After waiting thirty days, Mr and Mrs Owl’s babies are ready to hatch! It’s terribly exciting and Mr Brown Mouse wouldn’t miss it for the world… after all, Mr Owl is his first ever friend!
4) MR BROWN MOUSE’S FAMILY IS COMING TO VISIT
Mr Brown Mouse’s family are coming to visit but he’s out of Honey Biscuits and tea! What will he do? Would he dare to ride on the back of big, old Mr Crocodile, all the way down the river to get more? Who will he meet on the way?
5) MR BROWN MOUSE & THE OSTRICH EGG
Mr Brown Mouse finds an egg! A very big egg! It’s even bigger than he is! What will he do and how will he find it’s mum. And can he stop Mrs. Hippo from accidentally sitting on it?
6) MR BROWN MOUSE & THE BEAR
In his most daring and epic adventure yet, Mr Brown Mouse soars on the back of Mrs Eagle! Join him as he travels over the mountains to visit his old friend Mr Bear. But will Mr Brown Mouse be able to wake Mr Bear up?
I won’t lie, I was a bit concerned about how I was going to get my very active, very busy three-year-old to sit and listen to an audio book. But each story is between ten and twelve minutes long – the perfect time frame to keep my Noah captivated! While he was quietly playing with his cars one rainy afternoon, I told him I was going to play something for him on my phone, and I wanted him to listen to it while he played. Within a minute of starting the first audio book, he had abandoned his cars (something he never does willingly), and we were sitting on the couch together, listening intently to the story. I was amazed at how he would also react to what the storyteller was saying. He kept looking at me with big, excited eyes, oohing and aahing at the adventure he was listening to. And when the first story ended, he immediately asked to listen to another one! I am so pleased with how he has grown so fond of Mr. Brown Mouse!
Mr. Brown Mouse won’t replace our regular story time though. That is also not what Jonathan and Debbie intended it to be either. Instead, we’ll keep Mr. Brown Mouse for those bedtimes where Mom and Dad are unable to read a story. It’s a win-win if you ask me!
The stories are perfect for children between the ages of 3 and 6, and are currently available as audio books only. To purchase your audio book, simply click here. Each individual story costs R29.95, or you can get all 6 for R149.95. You can also find Mr. Brown Mouse on Facebook and Instagram.
Jonathan and Debbie have kindly offered my readers a 10% discount on the stories. To redeem your discount simply use this code: FRP208TQQDT2. Please note that this coupon code expires on 15 September 2018.
*We were sent the Mr. Brown Mouse audio books to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.