Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Review: Babymouse: Rock Star

Babymouse is back in Babymouse: Rock Star, the fourth volume of the Babymouse series.

This time, school and music are getting her down. Oh, and her number-one enemy Felicia Furrypaws.

How does Babymouse cope? She daydreams, of course. First, she's a rock star. Then, on a boring Wednesday, a tornado whisks her out of school. But, daydreams won't save her from her biggest problem: she wants to play the flute better. She wants to move from last chair in the school band.

Felicia Furrypaws is second-to-last chair and torments Babymouse. Fortunately, Babymouse finds help from a fellow Furrypaws victim and succeeds in the end with a little practice, instruction, and targeted daydreaming.

Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm triumph again with this latest installment in the tales of your average school-aged mouse. Babymouse's daydreams are fun and action-filled, but the beauty of the books is in the everyday. Everyone has angst about their position in the band, everyone fears a school bully, and everyone hates the bus.

The bus is the star of my favorite sequence in Babymouse: Rock Star. The bus screeches up, the driver says, "Let's get moving! What do you think I am anyway? Your own personal chauffeur?" Then Babymouse comments that the bus "was like an obstacle course." The obstacles? "Doesn't open. Talks too much. Gets bus-sick. Soda spill. Bumpy. Rickety. Kind of scary. Gum. Picks nose. Yells." True, true, true.

Babymouse: Rock Star is highly recommended for school-aged children five and up. And, even though Babymouse is written at approximately a third-grade level, I've found young middle schoolers love Babymouse as well.