The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail
By Richard Peck
(Dial Books, Hardcover, 9780803738386, 240pp.)
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
List Price: $16.99*
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The smallest mouse in London's Royal Mews is such a little mystery that he hasn't even a name. And who were his parents? His Aunt Marigold, Head Needlemouse, sews him a uniform and sends him off to be educated at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy. There he's called "Mouse Minor" (though it's not quite a name), and he doesn't make a success of school. Soon he's running for his life, looking high and low through the grand precincts of Buckingham Palace to find out who he is and who he might become.
Queen Victoria ought to be able to help him, if she can communicate with mice. She is all-seeing, after all, and her powers are unexplainable. But from her, Mouse Minor learns only that you do not get all your answers from the first asking. And so his voyage of self-discovery takes him onward, to strange and wonderful places.
"You can’t help but make comparisons to some other very famous books about mice, namely DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and White’s Stuart Little, but the parallel world of mice and humans also echoes The Borrowers. Peck (A Year Down Yonder, 2000) is terrific in relaying small details, like the intricacy of mouse uniforms, and this clever yarn should delight fans of animal adventure stories. (Starred Review)
“The small hero’s brushes with danger and run-ins with royalty (both human and rodent) unfold with Peck’s characteristic wit and flair for adventure.” (Starred Review)
“[Children will] enjoy the twists and turns of this old-fashioned rags-to-riches story. It’s written in an easy, unlabored style but still reflects Peck’s relish for the perfect word and phrase; readers and listeners (it makes a great read-aloud) will savor every one.”
"A plucky hero, exciting plot, and a [satisfying] resolution, Peck's latest is a gentle homage to old-school adventure tales." (Starred Review)
-School Library Journal
“Peck's writing is so rich, so laugh-out-loud funny, that the picture of the mysterious mousedom, complete with proper clothing, food, and life lessons reels us into a truly original, imaginative world. . . . A more-than-perfect book to share aloud with young readers.”
-The Christian Science Monitor
"Peck creates a pleasantly detailed, cozy Victorian mouse world. There's some of Stuart Little's appeal to Mouse Minor's exploits."
“Witty and precise prose… will enchant lovers of animal fantasy. This mouse-sized identity quest sparkles.”—Kirkus
“Perfect for reading aloud to intermediate grade students or for recommending to readers who enjoy a mystery or a good adventure story. Recommend to fans of The Tale of Despereaux.”—Library Media Connection
-Library Media Connection