cover image Martins Mice

Martins Mice

Dick King-Smith, Smith Dick King. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $13 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-57113-2

Martin is a farm kitten who likes micebut not for dinner. Martin likes mice as pets. He catches a pregnant female, Drusilla, and keeps her in a discarded bathtub. As Martin grows up he learns about friendship, loyalty and responsibility; he is shattered when Drusilla escapes at the first opportunity. But not until he, too, is taken from his outdoor life and imprisoned as a pet in a luxurious apartment does Martin perceive the true meaning of freedom. King-Smith adds another winner to his distinguished body of work. The creatures that inhabit his rural universe, intent on their day-to-day lives (but occasionally aspiring to greatness), are sharply and believably characterized; the story is fast-paced and gripping. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-11. (Feb.)