Blog Review: Tea Mouse
In Short: Exceptional design coupled with excellent content.
The first thing that strikes me when I enter Tea Mouse is the vivid colour scheme. The dark blue, white and crimson look gorgeous together and create a unique and dazzling combination. The large header looks beautiful; once again the colour combination is present and looks great. The floral pattern looks great as well. The tagline is cute as well.
Scrolling down the Home Page, I notice buttons directing me to various places around Tea Mouse. The buttons are easy to read and once again utilise the effective colour combination and also include more flowers.
Over to the Blog Entries. By reading the first few posts, I can already gauge that Sas and Roz, the authors of Tea Mouse, use impeccable spelling and grammar which makes the reading experience both easy and enjoyable. Tea Mouse combines book reviews with real life posts, which makes for an interesting mix. Each book review contains the cover art and details such as the ISBN, number of pages and blurb before the actual review. One thing that I am noticing is that the reviews often contain very little information about the actual plot of the book.
I find a plot summary to be extremely helpful when reading book reviews because the plot is one of the most crucial aspects of a book. Even a short, one paragraph synopsis of the book will be sufficient. Nevertheless, the reviews are quite detailed and descriptive and cover things such as the characters. The quotes from books at the end of each review are cute and add character to the review. One of the problems with the blog entries page is the amount of scrolling I have to do. Limiting the amount of posts per page to 5 or so will be more efficient.
The sidebar contains many useful widgets, including a brief biography of the reviewers as well as a widget detailing what they are reading at the moment. A ‘recent posts’ widget will be very beneficial, as that way readers can gauge if there are any new posts while on the Home page rather than on the Blog Entries page.
Over to the About Us page, and I notice that it also has the buttons, minus the flowers. The ‘About the Site’ page is quite interesting and includes a brief history on Tea Mouse. Both the ‘About Roz’ and ‘About Sas’ pages contain detailed information about Roz and Sas respectively. The ‘Say Hi’ button links to nothing, which is confusing. The ‘Contact’ page contains useful information as well. Overall, the About Us page is very effective, informative and useful.
The next page I looked as was the ‘Reviews and Suggestions’ page. Once again the gorgeous buttons take me to different pages. The reviews are ordered by Author or Title which is a very helpful method of grouping the reviews. On each page are links to the actual reviews. The list is quite long and impressive and just goes to show how dedicated both Sas and Roz are. The Suggestions page is used for suggestions for books to be reviewed or suggestions regarding the blog in general. Sas and Roz also offer the option for readers to review books themselves, although this hasn’t been done before. It will be interesting to see how this will work.
The Games page, suffice to say, contains original games played by submitting a comment. These games are lots of fun, and include ‘Life Gave Me Lemons’ where participants finish the aforementioned statement. For example, one participant could write ‘When life gives you lemons, throw them at passers-by.” This results in hilarious reading. The other game, What If?, is fairly self-explanitory. The third game, Song Omelette, is currently not ready.
The final page, Miscellaneous, houses pages which just don’t seem to fit in to other categories. I’m not a fan of pages titled Miscellaneous…perhaps something more creative? It includes the subpages ‘The Challenge’, detailing the competition between Roz and Sas. The Features page has links to posts that are Feature posts, such as how to look after your books. These are very well written posts. The Be Green page is, suffice to say, full of helpful tips on how to do your bit to save the environment.
All in all, I was very impressed by Tea Mouse and it seems to have the perfect balance between content and design, with beautiful aesthetics.