The Truffle Mouse by Holly Webb
|The Truffle Mouse by Holly Webb|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A young girl finds refuge in her relationship with a pet mouse as a means of escaping her real-world problems in this thought-provoking tale about family.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: August 2015|
|Publisher: Scholastic Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Alice is going through a tough time right now. Even though her mum and dad split up two years ago, she'd always hoped that they would eventually get back together. But when dad introduced his new girlfriend and her daughter and announced that they would be moving in, everything changed. School isn't any better, either. She's always getting told off in class and is jealous of her best friend Lucy, who seems to have the perfect family, but doesn't appreciate it. When mum sees how withdrawn Alice has become, she takes her to the pet shop to buy a hamster to take her mind off things. However, it's not a hamster that catches Alice's eye, but a sweet little mouse, with fur like cocoa powder. The trouble is, mum is terrified of mice!
The Truffle Mouse is a bitter-sweet story of a young girl trying to make sense of the big changes in her life. The single stabilising factor amidst the chaos is her relationship with her pet mouse, which makes her forget all of her troubles. Truffle is absolutely adorable and provides an escape from the outside world. Alice sets to work, building him his very own mouse maze and indulging him in all manner of tasty treats. Life with a pet mouse is not without its problems though, especially when mum's pet cat keeps clawing the door to take a closer look. Then, of course, there is the issue of her weekends with dad, when she has to leave Truffle behind with her mouse-phobic mother and her hungry cat...
The book is quite short and capable readers should be able to breeze through the entire story in an hour or so. The illustrations compliment the text perfectly and the pictures of Truffle are gorgeous. The problem is, my daughter now wants a pet mouse...
The only issue I had with the book was that the ending felt abrupt and seemed to come out of nowhere. It felt like it had ended mid-flow, which jarred a little. My daughter said that she felt the same way when she read it. We both wanted the story to go on for longer.
The book is perfect for anyone who loves animals, but would also be a useful tool for helping children who face the same family issues as Alice, or have a friend going through similar problems. It provides a great basis for some serious discussions about relationships, which is no mean feat considering the book is aimed at quite a young target audience. This is a thought-provoking and charming read and I'm grateful to the publishers for my review copy. Webb is at the top of her game, doing what she does best.
Another Holly Webb book that uses an animal story to discuss a potentially difficult issue is A Tiger Tale in which a young girl struggles to cope with her grandfather death. It's a fantastic and poignant read.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Truffle Mouse by Holly Webb at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Truffle Mouse by Holly Webb at Amazon.com.
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