44 Tiny Acrobats is the second book in this gorgeous series for younger readers, starring 44 adorable and mischievous pygmy mice, and the wonderful Bow-Linnet family: full of warmth, humour and adventure, this will be sure to keep children entertained throughout – and probably wanting their own little acrobat!
It is the start of the Christmas holidays, and Betsy and her Grandad are continuing the family tradition of Christmas Decoration Day. However, Betsy is quick to realise that her beloved Grandad is not his usual cheery self: could this be something to do with the circus which they can see on the common near their home?
After one of her mice gets injured, Betsy takes it to the vet and, on the way home, cannot resist buying a ticket to Fry & Sons Circus of Wonders. Betsy is absolutely mesmerised by the acts who perform and feels a pull towards circus life, a life that drew her Grandma too. Trouble ensues when the mice escape which leads to an encounter with the circus Ringmaster, Mr Fry who demands that she makes amends, so Betsy finds herself and her acrobatic troupe of pygmy mice agreeing to perform, but can she keep her secret from her family?
This is a wonderful story taking the young reader on an exciting adventure with an element of danger that is sure to keep pages turning. Will Betsy be able to outwit the terrible Ringmaster, Mr Fry, who is determined to have her acrobatic mouse troupe perform, with or without her?
Betsy is the most wonderful, kind-hearted young girl: courageous, independent and determined. She finds herself in a tricky situation, trying hard to do the right thing whilst not upsetting others and feeling guilty over the choices she makes. She does have help from the magnificent magician, Enid the Splendid who is kind and supportive, and who has some of his own wrongs to right.
I loved the warm relationship between Betsy, her parents and her Grandfather. Even though she feels she has to keep her secret from her family, she is doing so in order not to hurt them and as she feels a responsibility to put right a mistake she has made. The message that her family is there for her, to protect and support her is a wonderful one, and I really enjoyed seeing other sides of her family – especially her Dad!
The story illustrations, in a range of shades of red, by Ashley King are absolutely stunning, and really bring the characters to life, showing the warmth and humour in the story perfectly.
This is a perfect book for young readers to enjoy with endearing characters, plenty of action and humour, and wonderful messages of friendship and family.
Thank you to Charlie Morris and Little Tiger for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.