Leat Regwan - “With the Courage of a Mouse” (The Superhero School series) written by Donna Sager Cowan and charmingly illustrated by Diane J. Reid, this book is sure to entertain and reaches a wide audience! The author does a great job of bringing the characters to life in her descriptive nature and inserts important life lessons about loyalty, friendship, bravery and courage. Catt is a character that has been abandoned and looks for acceptance while Simon a tiny mouse is courageous and resourceful, (despite his fears) he tries to help his unlikely friend reclaim her innocence when she is falsely accused of a crime. This book teaches the lesson not to judge based on our appearances and definitely not to underestimate our strengths; always face our fears and search in our “pockets” for our courage and braveness. This book is funny, witty and a joy to read! Five Stars!
Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
When Simon Cheddar, a mouse, is caught in the claws of a hawk, he only experiences a few minutes of terror before he gets into action. Not wanting to be the hawk’s next meal, Simon pulls some nail clippers from his pocket and clips the hawk’s nails. The hawk is now the one who’s terrified and he drops Simon. As the mouse free falls back to earth, he notices a cat waiting on the ground. Was he going to be the cat’s next meal instead of the hawk’s? Instead, it turns out that the cat, called Catt with two t’s, is rather timid.
As unlikely as it seems, the two become friends and Catt follows Simon’s lead to become less fearful and learn how to be a superhero. And where else would a mouse and his friend the cat go but to the Superhero School? That’s where they meet Patty the pig and Freddy the frog. The four team up to make an awesome group of superheroes, saving Catt from being wrongly accused and protecting others from exploitation and possible death.
Donna Sager Cowan’s middle-grade novel, With the Courage of a Mouse (The Superhero School Book 1), makes a great addition to an early chapter book library. Young readers will enjoy the adventures of Simon Cheddar and his animal friends as they take care of their community’s safety and, above all, respect each other’s differences. For example, the idea of a mouse and a cat being friends might seem a bit far-fetched, but it makes a good example for young readers to understand the importance of looking beyond differences. I think this is the most important message in this story. The plot is exciting and the characters, all animals, are well developed, creating a community that respects one another despite their differences. An excellent story.
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite With the Courage of a Mouse is a delightful work of adventurous fiction for preteen children, and was written by Donna Sager Cowan with illustrations by Diane J. Reid. Written as the opening book in a series entitled The Superhero School, this work pairs together an unlikely duo for a tale of loyalty, friendship and overcoming stigma. Catt is a cat whose life has not gone well so far, having been abandoned by her human family and attacked by other animals.
Brave little mouse Simon Cheddar befriends Catt at once, and they attend a superhero school together where they meet a whole host of other interesting animals. The central message of this charming story suggests to its young audience not to judge others by their appearance, or indeed their ‘race’ (as Catt is automatically judged to be the reason Mouseville is attacked, just because she’s a cat). There is also a strong theme of bravery in adversity, standing up for oneself and helping others, which the truly heroic little Simon Cheddar portrays very well.
Diane J. Reid’s illustrations help the story along with brightly colored moments of action, but the book is primarily a text for middle-grade readers who can travel through the story and meet each new challenge with confidence. Overall, With the Courage of a Mouse opens an engaging new series of chapter books that have plenty of charm and heart, and Donna Sager Cowan writes with lively dialogue and highly engaging prose that children are sure to adore
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