Oscar-winner Sandra is a fan of Berkhamsted’s Mouseton tale

Mouseton Abbey
Mouseton Abbey

A Berkhamsted author has found a celebrity fan in Sandra Bullock.

The Oscar-winning actress, most recently seen on the big screen in sci-fi thriller Gravity, was spotted in Los Angeles with a copy of Mouseton Abbey.

John Lewis in Oxford Street sold out of the book – which features knitted mice the Earl of Stilton and Countess Gouda in a Christmas Day hunt for a missing diamond – after a two hour signing session with co-author Joanna Bicknell, who owns publishing house Make Believe Ideas based in The Wilderness, Berkhamsted.

“I think there is something fascinating about mice because they are so secretive!,” she said.

“They hide away in nooks and crannies and it’s fun to imagine what their tiny homes are like.”

The mice characters were all knitted by Berkhamsted grandmas Jo Bishop and Carol Meredith, mother and mother-in-law of Make Believe Ideas cafe manager Julie Howell.

Jo and Carol, who usually knit clothes for children in Africa and Berkhamsted respectively, met with the Make Believe Ideas creative team before putting their heads and needles together to come up with the 13 characters from above and below stairs.

Joanna was inspired to write the Cheesemas story after visiting the Maison et Objet interior design show in Paris.

“I came across an amazing display of soft toys sitting down to dinner at a banquet table,” she said.

“I’ve always been a fan of period dramas, so the idea just clicked!”

The book also featured in Heat magazine and on the Alan Titchmarsh Show on TVin the run-up to Christmas. Mouseton Abbey is available from Make Believe Ideas and two new books, the Mouseton Abbey Treasure Hunt flap book and a sticker book, will be out in the new year.