Title: Babymouse: Dragonslayer #11
Authors: Jennifer L Holm & Matthew Holm
Publisher: Random House
May Contain Spoilers
Oh, no! Babymouse is horrible at math, and her teacher is making her join the mathletes to improve her computational skills. What is a confused mouse to do? When she learns about the Golden Slide Rule, the trophy that the dastardly Owlgorithms snatched away, she’s determined to get it back. Does it matter that she doesn’t even know what a slide rule is??
I have never heard of Babymouse before, but that didn’t hinder enjoyment of this eleventh installment. This was a great introduction for me, because I hate math! I really felt for Babymouse; she would have much rather been sitting in a corner curled up with a good book. Instead, she is forced to compete in the math olympics so that her teacher will overlook her hideous test score. An F-? Ouch! Maybe Babymouse does need to get her head out of the clouds and concentrate a little more on her studies!
With its scribbly illustrations and splashes of pink, the book is unique and visually interesting. The characters are all animals, and though not cuddly, their faces are very expressive. Babymouse is given to flights of fancy, especially when she is challenged by incomprehensible math problems. There are amusing references to several popular fantasy franchises, and I thought that the way the authors worked a quest component into the math contest was clever. It is clear that Babymouse and I have the same taste in reading material.
The story is fun and fast paced, and even though Babymouse is hopeless at math, she soon gets fired up to get that Golden Slide Rule back. The theme of never giving up, even in the face of daunting odds, is universally appealing, and in Babymouse’s case, it takes a lot of courage to stand up to those scary owls. Not only are they math wizs, they eat mice for breakfast. Even though the book is intended for kids, I enjoyed it, and wished that my young niece wasn’t an hour away, because it would have been fun to read this to her and something that she would have enjoyed as well.
Rating: All Ages
Review copy provided by Random House