Pests: Mouse in Training
Hodder Children’s, 2020
190pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Stix is the size of an egg cup, can jump the width of a dog’s bottom, and LOVES cheese. That’s because Stix is a mouse. He probably lives behind your washing machine, but you wouldn’t know it, because his grandma taught him to always stay out of trouble and NEVER let the humans know he’s there. But disaster strikes and now Stix is left adrift until he stumbles across PESTS – the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels – in the basement of his building. Along with a whole host of new pesty friends (and enemies), he’s about to rip up Grandma’s rule book – strict rules like ‘never poop in places mans will see’ ensure the deadly Nuke-A-Pest are never called ensuring a peaceful and happy life- and make a REAL pest of himself because a different set of rules apply.
This year may be the year that our students discover the joys of reading as they look forward to a winter indoors with very little outside activity, so this would be a good story to recommend to newly independent readers who are still bridging the gap between stepping stone “chapter books”and full-text novels. Supported by its own website and YouTube channel which has lots of videos and activities, including learning how to draw Stix, it will have lots of appeal that should extend over time., particularly as it’s a series.
One to recommend to parents as a read-aloud or a read-alone.