MOUSE INVADERS: THE EXCITING ESCAPADES OF ARVEE THE MOUSE
Written & illustrated by Magnolia (Manjula Padmanabhan)
Hachette India, 2019, pp. 240, R399.00
Uff! There’s a mouse in the house. I can see it scampering on my kitchen platform, behind the gas stove, then jump down lightly and scurry under the door, under the wooden crockery shelf-almirah, under the wooden stool on which my mother prefers the fridge is kept so she doesn’t have to bend down too much. It then darts across the passageway to quickly reach the cover of the telephone table and is safely transported to the bedroom—which has my mother’s and my daughter’s clothes hanging around all over! Hah! It has been evading the Pest Control India glue-pad that I’ve been placing along its everyday path for the last 3 days. Drat! How do I catch a mouse without killing it?
And now this book called Mouse Invaders has been sitting on my table waiting to be reviewed! I read it last week. I first read the first one, Mouse Attack, and was introduced to all the characters and their characteristics. Strangely, while reading Mouse Attack, for some initial parts I was reminded of HG Wells’s The Country of the Blind, and the subtle ways in which the process of otherization takes place in society. It does take place every day, all around us, only waiting to be noticed. And yet, in Mouse Attack, it slowly and softly leads to acceptance, to building of a camaraderie faced by a stiff life-threatening situation, where the ‘difference’ becomes a tool to fight the oppressor, the Ratlord called Pasha.