Those of you who have watched toddlers taking their first trembling steps, know that feeling of breath holding, of willing against the odds, of wincing at the stumble. You also know the moment of rejoicing when the babe sits on purpose rather than crashing to the ground, nose first. Well, it’s much the same with books.

Kind of.

For months, a book is seen only by its parent, and some very carefully chosen editors and first readers who are able to correct faults, make suggestions, guide. Unlike the child, thank goodness, they’re also there to chop and sculpt, but they get involved in the book’s progress so that the parent of the book is no longer alone, but part of a tiny team.

In conventional publishing, that team grows a little as marketing and publicity teams join the original group and they too read the book – too late to change it, but they are there in the book’s court. They’re there to give it a helping hand.

Then, it makes it out of the publishing house and into the world. That’s the toddler step bit. That’s the really scary bit.

Or at least it is for me.

Mouse Heart has been hitting doormats around the country in the last few days. At first, there were Ooohs and Aaahs about the cover – quite rightly too – and then, terrifying silence.

Cue author frantically searching twitter for mentions. Avoiding goodreads but cautiously looking at the Waterstones site.

Until the silence was broken.

A tweet from Kevin Cobane,

A first Waterstones bookseller review from Sue Chambers 5 star – get in! A lovely tweet from Gill Lewis, and then, a few days later, two really fantastic reviews from teachers. This one from Sue Wilsher, who until recently ran the North Somerset Teacher’s Book Award

What an adventure! Packed with action and mystery, sinister villains and theatricals, ‘Mouse Heart’ is a completely captivating and thrilling read that is impossible to put down.

Mouse is a fabulous heroine, brimming with courage and determination. Her affection for those around her and her resolve to keep them safe at all costs is heart warming as she launches herself into her investigations. See full review here

– and this one from Jacqui Sydney, at the World’s Smallest Library read an extract or click here for more

Set in the fictional reign of Queen Anne II, the writer has created a world here that is so beautifully described that I could feel the filth of the streets beneath my feet and smell the scents of the theatre and the warehouses and quays that surround Mouse’s home. While the setting is a fictionalised one, much of the narrative has its roots in historical fact – such as the portrayal of an escaped slave – and this all adds to the incredible sense of the story being a recount of actual events, rather than a simple work of fiction

Honestly, it’s like they’ve given my toddler wings. She’s not just walking, she’s flying. And Mouse Heart has raised it’s head. Whoooooppeeeeeeeeeeee!

You can read the first few pages here

And if you want to pre-order it, give my toddler a little more help – click here for Waterstones

Here for Bookshop.