The mouse-duo of Charles and Oliver scamper across the pages of Tim Davis’s adventure tale being clever, brave, and comical. Their first perilous encounter is with some rough-hewn pirate canines, who convincingly flaunt their lack of class. At first unaware of the presence of mouse spies, the undignified and impetuous sea-dogs spill their plot to steal a sunken treasure after her majesty’s ship—the Nine Lives—has done all the work of bringing it up. Excitement follows when Charles and Oliver are discovered and captured by the motley crew. But through a series of unfortunate and fortunate events, the mice escape from the Herring Bone and resolve to take their chances aboard the Nine Lives, which—as its name indicates—is “manned” by a mouse’s worst real-world enemies.
Where “rough and rude” was the order of the day on the Herring Bone, by contrast, the Nine Lives proves to be a place of polite decorum. And Charles and Oliver’s brave risk and cleverness save the day for the patient felines. The Nine Lives crew gets to hang on to the treasure, the crusty canines get marooned on an island, and the mice sail off into the sunset with the prospect of reward from the queen herself. As civility triumphs, Charles and Oliver are likely to become your child’s new heroes.
Few fictional characters delight young readers more than well-personified animals. Believable personalities combined with a stellar plot easily draw listeners/readers into a satisfying fantasy experience. Charming ink illustrations pepper the pages. Kick off this JourneyForth series with Mice of the Herring Bone and then continue your delightful midwinter romp with Mice of the Nine Lives, Mice of the Seven Seas, and Mice of the Westing Winds Books 1 & 2.
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