Title: Madam Squeaker
Author: Pip Jones
Illustrator: Paula Bowles
Publisher: Barrington Stoke (Little Gems)
Genre: Younger children’s fiction
Book format: Paperback
Description: Crumbs on the counter, morsels on the floor – there should be plenty of food for Minetta the mouse to eat in Hollyhock House …
But the Ruling Rats are running rampage every night, taking the best of everything for themselves. Minetta has decided that enough is enough – it’s time the rats learn to share. The trouble is, Minetta is so small and her voice just a squeak. How will she ever make them listen …?
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is such a lovely story and with a great message for children. Minetta lives in Hollyhock House where the two legs drop lots of crumbs of food. But Minetta and the other animals can’t seem to get enough food because the rats eat everything available. One day the rats go too far and it’s up to Minetta to speak up, but with a voice that’s so quiet, will the rats ever hear her?
I really enjoyed this story and what happens to Minetta and the other animals in the house. Minetta’s voice is quiet, so quiet in fact that even her spider friend who’s right near her can’t hear her speak, not until she tries to shout. But with the rats growing more and more confident and refusing to share the food with the other animal residents of the house, Minetta feels she has to go speak with them to make them understand. However it’s not so easy and Minetta struggles to make herself heard. The story is a simple one but good. Minetta eventually finds her voice and I like what happens in the end with the rats and the other animals. Children will enjoy Minetta’s story and there are some fun things adults will probably enjoy too, like the name of the owl and the title of the book making sense in relation to what happens. I didn’t even realise how clever and funny that title was until something is explained at the end of the story, although unless it’s explained to kids they might not understand some of these fun extras.
The illustrations are lovely and appear throughout the book. I love the little animal image at the start of every chapter and the way that Minetta and the other animals look is so cute! There are some great details in the pictures but they also look so fun and cute at the same time. The pictures definitely make the story more fun to read. There are some extra activities for children to do on the inside of the front and back covers, including a fun spot the difference. The text is easy to read too, with paragraphs spaced out and the font being a special type that is easier for dyslexics to read. The pages of the book are thicker than most books making the text easier to read and I love the compact size of the book which is a touch smaller than the average size of books.
Overall I just really enjoyed this book. The story is a fun one and clever and has a good message for children about sharing, respecting each other and finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in. The illustrations are all lovely too and I know that adults will enjoy some parts of this story just as much as children will.
What do you think of this book? Do you like stories featuring animals? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂