To date all of the comic books and graphic novels I have reviewed (I think it is up to an amazing 3) ultimately conclude with me waiting to read the story to my 6 & 3 year old boys.
Well time to review something I actually read to my children. Mouse Guard Fall 1152 is one of the few titles where I purchased an actual book, instead of something on my tablet. I prefer reading real books to my children, largely because when I’m not around during the day time they will pick up the books and page through them on there own. I am not an education professional, but I see something incredibly positive about children picking up books and using their imagination.
I was caught off guard when my kids weren’t excited about the new book I had bought for them. Looking back I figure that Mouse Guard wasn’t anything their friends were into so there was little to be excited about.
So I read it myself and was completely taken by the artwork employed to tell this story of virtuous heroism (my favorite kind). The pace of the story telling is refreshing. There are moments of danger, as with any adventure, but David Petersen (the author) breaks away from the pattern of always jumping from the frying pan and into the fire, and from the fire into the mouth of the dog and from the mouth of the dog… and so on.
But my increased enthusiasm for the book wouldn’t convince them that it was worth their time. So I did what (I hope) any good parent would do: I played them against one another.
When my wife had taken the 6 year old to run errands and the 3 year old was home with me, I convinced him that we should read the book by encouraging him to wear a cape because the mice have capes* and he should hold one of his toy swords while we read.
* = The mouse guard wear technically wear cloaks but I wasn’t going to argue the difference with him. Also, getting dressed up to read = awesome. Wait, am I turning my children into cosplayers?
After the first 2 pages my 3 year old loved it. He completely identified with the characters and insisted that I change the names of some of the characters to be him, his older brother and one of their friends. I was happy to oblige.
When the 6 year old found out I read a book to his brother that I hadn’t read to him first… Well, that was a wrong that needed to be corrected.
I’m a fan of Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, and some of the fundamentals of Mouse Guard resemble Redwall. Both are adventures with mice (the ultimate under dog) in a setting resembling medieval Europe. But that is where the similarities end. Fans of Redwall should have no trouble becoming fans of Mouse Guard.
Would I read it on my own without the boys?
Normally I try to end my reviews with a comment about when I’d read the title to my kids. Since, that question has already been answered. I’ll answer this one instead.
Yes. I have read it numerous times and I will read it again. I’m waiting for the sequel Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 to come out in soft cover. Currently only hardcover is listed on Amazon.com and it has been temporarily out of stock for at least a month.