Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 -- David Petersen
Three years after the defeat of a weasel warlord, the members of Mouse Guard have returned to their usual peacetime activities: trailblazing, escorting civilians from village to village, weather-watching and scouting. On a routine patrol, Lieam, Kenzie and Saxon (that's them on the cover -- Saxon, in the red, is pretty much always scowling, so of course I loved him) discover that the peace is threatened, but this time, not by outsiders: there is a traitorous plot against Lockhaven, the headquarters of Mouse Guard.
Due to the pretty, pretty cover, I've had my eye on Mouse Guard for quite a while now. Buuuut, as pretty as it is, I've been avoiding the actual reading part because of my Animal Book Problem*.
Luckily, Josh has also been eyeing it, so he brought it home, read it first and pronounced it SAFE. I was so happy to hear that, because -- just look at them! Mice! With Swords! And Capes! So noble! And cute! (But don't tell them that, they'd probably cut you.)
And now, after reading it, I can tell you with confidence: It is not a weeper in any way. Yes, some cute little mice die, but Mouse Guard is more action movie and less Bambi. It's really mostly worth reading for the illustrations and for the world he's created -- the characters aren't all that developed (They mostly fall into very familiar fantasy/action character archetypes. But you know what? That didn't really bother me -- I always find those character types to be super-fun -- Saxon, for instance, is the Attack First, Think Later, Always Angry type.) and the story is very simple. But this is just the first installment -- it's an introduction to the world and to the characters, so maybe in the future there'll be more depth.
Absolutely don't miss at the very least flipping through this one in the bookstore, because the illustrations are gorgeous.
I think it'll be a hit with tweens.
*Nine times out of ten, books (movies**, songs***...) about animals (anthropomorphic or not) make me cry. Even if they have happy endings!
**As I know I've mentioned before, the Seabiscuit trailer made me cry. As if that isn't embarrassing enough, we were there to see Hulk.
***They had to remove me from the classroom in second grade when I disrupted the poor folksinger lady's presentation with my wailing. She was trying to sing Puff the Magic Dragon. Not my finest moment.