Clarice the Brave by Lisa McMann, illustrated by Antonio Caparo

Clarice the Brave by Lisa McMann, illustrated by Antonio Caparo, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2021. 9780593323373

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Animal Fantasy

What did you like about the book? Clarice and Charles Sebastian, brother and sister mice, were born at sea.  After their sister Olivia has been eaten by a ship’s cat and their mother swept overboard, they are on their own, living in a crate of coffee beans. Following a mutiny, the two mice find themselves separated, Clarice onto a small boat with the captain, some of his crew and Special Lady (the cat who ate his sister) while Charles Sebastian is left to fend for himself aboard the ship against nasty (mouse-eating) chickens.  Both use their wits, determined to find each other again.  Clarice finds an ally with Special Lady(!) while Charles Sebastian becomes friends with a young human girl caged on the deck.  The stories of the two mice alternate in chapters sometimes with a wonderful, intricately-drawn grey and white illustration.  A heartfelt absorbing tale.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend this to those who like animal tales filled with adventure, plucky heroes and life on the high seas.  Readalikes would be Avi’s tales of Poppy the Mouse.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? J Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No, but decidedly fun and worth your while.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: December 31, 2021

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