Friday, 1 November 2013

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 1st November 2013 - "Sir Mouse to the Rescue" by Dirk Nielandt and Marjolein Pottie (Book Island)

Sir Mouse to the Rescue

Written by Dirk Nielandt

Illustrated by Marjolein Pottie

Published by Book Island

Our book of the week this week was one I expected to get a fairly mediocre reception from Charlotte. She's had her fill of brave knights, and there seem to be so many books around where characters don their clanking armour and rush off to rescue brave princesses from towers.

Oddly, we'd had a discussion about books with Mark from Mostly Books - and Charlotte had told him that her favourite type of book was "Books about a princess locked in a tower" (and we'd both thought "Rapunzel" in response).

So how about a book that flips everything on its head. Brave Sir Mouse is a girl, for starters. Brave Sir Mouse's best friend is a lovely dragon. Brave Sir Mouse doesn't rush off to rescue the princess from a tower, in fact Sir Mouse spies a Prince locked up in the tower, and he's a bit of an irritating character. Instead of actually asking to be rescued, he merely hangs out of the window looking sorry for himself and shouting "Help help!" in a rather pathetic voice.

Sir Mouse wonders whether rescuing the prince is such a good idea, but with the aid of her dragon friend she is soon on the case and has some very stern words for the prince once he has been rescued. Words along the lines of "Pull your socks up, stop being so silly and instead of shouting "Help Help" shout something slightly more useful!"

Broken up into a series of mini stories, "Sir Mouse to the Rescue" is a real breath of fresh air. Female protagonists clad in armour not taking any nonsense, finding very level headed and brilliant ways to deal with nasty bullies (like an armour-clad cat who thinks everyone's there to be fought with). Sir Mouse even takes umbrage at her friend Dragon from time to time, as we find out in one story.

We particularly like how this little collection wrapped up. Taking all the usual fairy tale rules and smashing them on the rocks, to create something that feels original and wonderful, and hugely positive for girls who rather think they'd be far better at being knights of yore than the boys are. Utterly, utterly wonderful. If you've get to experience Book Island's brilliant catalogue of books, this is definitely one of the best places to start, it's fab!

Charlotte's best bit: Sir Mouse giving the prince a right royal telling off for being so pathetic!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Sir Mouse's awesome skills at dealing with a nasty bully.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Book Island)