Valletta and the year of Changes

(15 customer reviews)


Gentle adventures of a fiery, busy little mouse who squeaks her mind. Sensitively exploring the events of the last few years but with larger messages around family support, community and finding hope.

Can only currently ship within the UK. Email me for any other options.


Valletta and the Year of Changes’ by Simone Mansell Broome is a chapter book with beautiful illustrations that follows a fiery little mouse called Valletta Stowaway and her family. The first thing that struck me was the lovely illustrations by Cerys Susannah Rees, on the cover and of the family tree. I think that young readers will find them enchanting.

The story flows well, we see the Stowaway clan have to come to terms with the lockdown, as the humans do above the floorboards of 46 Spring Blossom Road. Focusing on positivity, kindness and family support this book covers a lot of the feelings I’m sure lots of young readers would have been feeling during the initial stages of lockdown, from a lack of certainty to cabin fever and frustration about not being able to go on holiday. I like the Stowaway song that’s repeated throughout the story and I could see younger readers joining in with it throughout.

A very relevant picture book to the events of the past 18 months or so but with larger messages about family support and community. With entertaining characters and lovely illustrations, I see this book having a wide appeal.’

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15 reviews for Valletta and the year of Changes

  1. Sarah Stretton

    A very topical engaging story about compassion and community
    I found this a very engaging and entertaining children’s book that is very topical. It’s great for children to read or be read to.
    It will capture imaginations through the curtailed antics of a usually globetrotting mouse family in a ‘Year of Changes’. Children and adults alike will easily identify with their resourcefulness under lockdown.
    Very strong messages about compassion and community abound which could make this great to use in the classroom.
    I can’t wait to find out what the mice will do next.

  2. Anya Day

    A charming, poignant tale about adapting to new ways of living and garnering true community spirit during the pandemic. A wonderful tale for young (and young at heart) readers. A must-read!

  3. Dawn Falconer

    A beautifully written book which helps children to identify and start discussions about a difficult year for us all. It shows love, kindness and thoughtfulness through the mouse families which can be lived through our own lives ❤️

  4. Shruiti

    What a Funtastic read on a “Fursday”!! 😊

    Valletta and the Year of Changes is a book with beautiful illustrations for children (with a theme that was experienced by grownups and explored in a beautiful way) that tells the story of a fiery little mouse and her adventures during a difficult and dangerous year of CoVid. It has been written by Simone Mansell Broome- whom I proudly call my friend/mentor/boss lady.

    The story flows through chapter to chapter making it a very engaging read primarily for children but equally interesting for adults too. The power of heartfelt words written so Simplistically stating the events of the past 18 months but with bigger messages about family support, community and not loosing positivity in any situation. What a brilliant little gem of a book – truly recommended 👍💖🐁
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  5. Chrispie

    Book for all ages
    As a very old ‘child’ I loved this book. An interesting tale for these strange times with an underlying message of kindness and love. Liked the family tree at the back to show all the connections. This book can be read to younger children or on their own by kids who are older. Would recommend it to anyone, but particularly parents and carers who are trying to explain the pandemic to younger children. The illustrations are beautiful and compliment the story wonderfully.

  6. Jonatha Currie

    Brilliant story for kids unsure of where to place covid
    A wonderfully light-hearted and fantastical story to sum up an odd time to kids. Looking forward to any possible sequels!

  7. Morag

    Delightful story of kindness and fun!
    This lovely story with delightful illustrations is going to be thoroughly enjoyed by the youngest members of our family this Christmouse. In the meantime this ‘favourite’ Auntie loved it ! Full of messy adventures & kindness to others.
    I can’t wait to get them wrapped up & posted up North to go under the Christmouse Tree.

  8. Amazon customer

    A heartwarming story
    I bought this book for the children I nanny for and they love it!! A wonderful story, the girls loved reading it before bed and looked forward to it every night! Thank you Simone xxx

  9. No more plastic for me

    A beautiful read
    This is a lovely read about a community of mice coping with the impact of lockdown. They learn to adjust and open their home to help out others. A heartwarming story, beautifully written with characterful illustrations.

  10. Pete

    Absolutely Fantastic!
    Can’t recommend enough! Very topical for current times and a joy to read from start to finish.

  11. Debbie Adams

    Delightful story of how we have all struggled and coped with the Covid pandemic. A beautiful story book for children with fun illustrations!

  12. Lee831

    Such a lovely book
    Lovely drawings and a pleasure to read. Although aimed a children, there is something for everyone! The pictures are adorable, can’t wait for the next one!

  13. Amazon customer

    Perfect family book with lovely illustrations
    My 9 year old daughter read this book as soon as we got it. She loved it so much she read it all in one go. I then read it to my younger children, who also loved it & understood the pandemic theme. Their 13 year old sister came to stay for the summer, she has also read it & will recommend to her friends. Loved by our whole family. Thanks 😁

  14. Johno

    Grand kids loved this
    Loved the lockdown story, very believable characters. Illustrations are fantastic.

  15. E.J.Robinson

    A delightful and beatifully illustrated ‘tail’ of mice in the pandemic!
    A lovely, cheerful story of a family of mice coping in strange times. The family tree at the back of the book is a delight and very useful to keep track of who is who in this intricately created world of mice living through the pandemic. A well told tail (sorry!) for children that does not patronise & keeps the grown-ups hooked too with lots of witty puns & great charm.

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