MOUSE ATTACK: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF ARVEE THE MOUSE
By Magnolia (Manjula Padmanabhan). Illustrations / design by Magnolia.
Hachette India, 2019, pp. 177, R399.00
Mouse Attack is surely a window for children to enter into the world of fascinating images woven grippingly by Magnolia. It holds you tight with its enthralling narrative and lets you walk into the world of Arvee, Ellie, Mo and Pasha. Peeking through the eye of a mouse brings an interesting perspective of the human world as well as the small animal world. It thrills you with its one after the other incidents and succeeds well in keeping the suspense and adventure one looks for in juvenile fiction. All the 25 chapters try to firmly clutch you but one cannot stop reading after ‘Midnight Message’. This book is altogether an action-packed read with crisp chapters and cute illustrations but might restrict a few enthusiastic readers due to its fairly high price.
Arvee the scholarly white mouse brings his sophisticated laboratory experience into the life of underground mice submissive to their fate and horrifying past memories, not only to lead a resistance movement but also to explore his innate identity as an animal. It is difficult for Arvee to grasp all the difficult realities of animal kingdom beneath his human’s house and deal with the differences his skin colour has created. Meanwhile, in the world of little creatures, where ‘different’ is quite a synonym for ‘enemy’, Stringer being the leader of the family keeps his kin safe from the ‘different’ experiences Arvee has brought to their lives. On the way to smash the dichotomy of slaves and masters, Stringer doesn’t even realize when the ‘difference’ camouflages itself with the resistance against oppression and emerges as solidarity amongst all the mice.
An uprising against rats by rebel mice might introduce the idea of revolution amongst the young readers and usher the power of organization and methodical work. The storyline effortlessly takes readers to the way of shedding differences and organizing for the larger good of the residents of Paradise Villa. It is quite fascinating to delve into the system of ant network, mantis and lizard ride and the rat world.
Our protagonist Arvee will not fail to intrigue his readers with his character of a researcher, who is keen to study human habitation, the moment he enters into one. His mindfulness at various critical situations will let the reader appreciate his character, for he always seems to reflect on his readings, and professional training. Readers will be equally fascinated by Ellie, Toon and the gang and Pasha for their interesting character sketches.
Asfia Jamal is a young professional in the field of education associated with Eklvaya Foundation. Children’s literature is her newfound love and she thoroughly enjoys immersing herself in it.