Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Review: The Adventures of Henry Whiskers 1 & 2 by Gigi Priebe
The Adventures of Henry Whiskers by Gigi Priebe. Illustrated by Daniel Duncan. 160 p. Aladdin/ Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, January, 2017. 9781481465748. (Finished paperback.)
The Long Way Home by Gigi Priebe. Illustrate by Daniel Duncan. The Adventures of Henry Whiskers #2. 160 p. Aladdin/ Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, August, 2017. 9781481465779. (Arc and finished ppb courtesy of Blue Slip Media)
Henry Whiskers lives in the storage bins of Queen Mary's Dollhouse with his family. Twenty-five generations of Whiskers have lived there. Henry's most favorite room in the house is the library, making him instantly endearing to this librarian. According to Whisker history, it was Prince George himself who installed the first Henry Whiskers in the dollhouse. Henry's mother has one hard and fast rule. That is not to be seen by any of the caretakers of the dollhouse. "If they find one of us, they will look for all of us." But other dangers lurk besides humans. There are rats and an evil cat. When Henry's little sister Isabelle goes missing. He must summon all his courage and set out with his cousin and best friend, Jeremy to find her.
There's plenty of action, humor and suspense in these short chapters to keep newly fluent readers turning pages. Black and white cartoonish art depicts the mice in old-fashioned clothes and the automobiles are vintage.
In Henry Whiskers' second adventure, he finds a mysterious map with an X on it. He wants to go exploring with Jeremy but they end up being caught in the kitchens of Windsor Castle and instead of being exterminated, they are dumped in a park some distance from the castle. Now, they need to find their way back. They encounter strange mice, one of whom knew Henry's father. Henry learns his father had an adventure outside the castle as well. He must deal with a storm at sea (a fountain) and a hungry bird of prey before making his way back with his best pal.
Priebe keeps the action brisk and Duncan's spot art provides the visuals. This edition provides a photograph of the real dollhouse at the end of the book. This series is sure to intrigue newly fluent chapter book readers or would make for a fun elementary read aloud.