The Umbrella Mouse
Written by Anna Fargher
Illustrated by Sam Usher
I had been keen to read this book since I first viewed it on netgalley. I loved the cover and the description sounded wonderful. The animals of war are not often given a voice in fiction texts and this was a wonderful story from Churchill’s Secret Animal Army.
We know great sadness affected all in the war and the animals in this story are no different. With mirror emotions to those of humans, we meet Pip Hanway and her umbrella mouse family. They have history with umbrellas and live in a popular London store. Pip is mischievous and keen to watch the world around her, but disaster strikes and we see how life has changed for Pip’s family and their beloved umbrella shop.
Pip meets Dicken, a rescue dog and a variety of animals leading the fight for the resistance. There are brave messenger pigeons, fierce eagles and rats, and a fearless hedgehog leader named Madame Fourcade. They call themselves Noah’s Ark and they cause havoc to the German war effort. Their bravery, courage and determination help to bring down phone lines, rescue animals from capture and blow up land mines.
Pip surprised me with her courage, her ideas and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. She becomes a proper little heroine and very much a part of the Noah’s Ark family. As an orphan, she soon finds a home with these brave and fearless creatures.
There were parts of this story that had me on the edge of my seat, in tears and wishing for the end of the war…..I was so emotionally charged and invested in the lives of these creatures. They all had personalities and qualities we might see in humans and they wore scars of the war in the same way too. There are happy, proud moments and others with great sadness and loss. It was the perfect blend.
I enjoyed it from start to finish!
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