‘44 Tiny Secrets,’ by Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Ashley King.

I was so pleased to see another title for younger chapter book fans by Sylvia Bishop – I’d loved ‘Bookshop Girl’ and was eager for more.


Betsy’s parents are world famous concert pianists and, despite what they say, Betsy knows they’d like nothing more than for her to carry on the family business.  The only problem is, practise as she might, Betsy just doesn’t share their gift for music.

The arrival of a mysterious letter promising to share a secret method of teaching that will make Betsy’s playing ‘stupendous,’ marks the beginning of a rather strange a wonderful chapter in Betsy’s life. It turns out the the top secret teaching method is in fact a box of 44 highly trained pygmy mice with an ear for music.

How on earth with these mice turn Betsy into a concert pianist before her parents return home from their trip? And how on Earth is she going to manage to keep 44 tiny mice a secret?!

This story is every bit as warm, funny and glorious as I expected it to be. Betsy’s desperate desire to do what she thought would please her parents most is an all too common one and added real depth to the story – I felt her frustration when her fingers just wouldn’t do what she wanted them to do, and her heartbreak when she thought her mother was disappointed with her.

The tiny little mice and other splashes of humour throughout the book are brilliantly depicted in Ashley King’s witty illustrations which generously adorn the pages.

A heart-warming read about determination, keeping secrets and rather wonderful grandads for readers aged 6+

Library Girl.

*Out in the 23rd July. Thank you to the Little Tiger Group for sending me this title to review*

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