cover image MAGNUS MAYBE


Errol Broome, , illus. by Ann James. . S&S/Aladdin, $4.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-3796-7

The arrival of this chipper tale of kindly mice under duress (first published in Australia) will be just the ticket for young readers who can't get enough of talking rodents. Broome's swiftly paced novel follows the adventures of Magnus, a white pet-shop mouse escaped from his owner who finds himself adopted by a family of brown field mice that have gnawed their way into the owner's house. The mice's efforts to survive destruction by humans and cats (inside the house and out), as well as a food shortage, make for some dramatic moments. Though the action here mostly twitches along, the author covers no new ground; Magnus's search for food, a safe home, love and acceptance may be very familiar to experienced readers (e.g., Stuart Little, the Redwall series, Time Stops for No Mouse, etc.). However, this book's intended fans may not yet have encountered Magnus's literary list of forebears, making this work a pleasant introduction to the genre. Ages 7-10. (Aug.)