We've not long started reading chapter books to our son (4), and this is our third Dick King-Smith already. It took around a week of bedtimes, and despite it's fairly complex language at times, he enjoyed it and could tell me what was happening.
An unusual cat from a young age, Martin never takes to killing and eating mice. As soon as he's able in fact, he captures one to keep as a pet.
Martin is a very responsible pet owner, bringing water and food, even a mate for Drusilla, but he can't understand why she's not happy in her bath-in-the-loft home. Until he experiences captivity himself...
A simple story, this is made a classic by its characters - Martin of course is the independent and unique cat determined to protect his pets. Drusilla is a plucky little mouse who speaks up for herself. Dulcie Maude a rather languid, uncaring mother. There are a few others that I won't spoil, but they all kept my son's interest.
As with all King-Smith's books, you get some natural history content, here about farm animals and mice that we enjoyed talking about.
The chapters aren't long, and the story moves quickly along with lots of interesting things happening, occasional danger and humour (some went over the head of my son). The language isn't always pitched at the level of the listener and I did re-word sometimes in order to keep the flow, but an older reader would be more comfortable with that aspect of the book.
We thoroughly enjoyed Martin's Mice, and have another by the author lined up!
This is the story of Martin, a cat who lives on a farm with his brother and sister, Robin and Lark, and his mother. Martin is a cat with a difference though- he doesn't eat mice. Instaed he keeps one as a pet! Drusilla is a very demanding mouse, though, particularly when she gives birth to eight little babies. At first she and Martin are enchanted by the baby mice, but as the babies the babies grow and Martin lets them free, Drusilla's sense of inprisonment and bid for freedom grow stronger and she, too, wishes to leave. Then comes the awful day when Drusilla disapeers! Martin tumbles into series of adventures, involving a fourth floor flat, and a certain Mr.Alec Smart..... This is a really lovely story written with a lot of humour and clever twists. I first read this book when I was nine years old, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Dick-King-Smith has a way with words that make his charcters come alive and seem very life-like, and also very funny. A heart-warming story for younger readers, which I highly recommend. Dick-King-Smith at his best.
From the beginning Martin realises he is not like other cats, whilst his brother and sister enjoy eating mice and relish the opportunity to hunt them and kill them ( maybe with a little light torture thrown in for good measure ) Martin thinks they cute and furry rather than delicious.
In this first encounter with a real mouse Martin decides he'd much rather keep it as a pet and installs it in an old bathtub from which it cannot escape and where he can enjoy it properly.
Martins strange habits lead to series of, amusing, encounters with his feline family. His bloodthirsty brother, Robin, and sister, Lark, and his mother - "Right, I'm sick of feeding you kids now. You're on your own, maybe I'll see you around sometime" and his father Pug. As Martin grows up he is subject to being kept a prisoner himself as someones pet and, after a narrow escape, re-evaluates his passion for keeping mice as pets, but is he too late, will he ever see his pet mouse, his home or his family again ?
All the characters in this story are amusingly and convincingly written and the whole thing is a joy to read !
Meet Martin, his siblings Robin and Lark, his mother Dulcie Maude and later on the in the story, his father Pug. Unlike the rest of his family, Martin does not like killing and eating mice. One day he puts his paw on a pregnant mouse, Drusilla. What does he do? Martin puts her in a bathtub and declares he is going to keep her as a pet! What do mice eat? Enjoy Martin's conversations with the different farm animals as he investigates here and later. What does he do when Drusilla wants a husband?
This is a fun story which teaches kids, in a fun way, the responsibilities of looking after a pet. It is a lot of work as Martin soon finds out. Martin also learns some other lessons of how Drusilla, a wild creature, feels cooped up in a bath! Important to note that the words "wimp", "fool" and "stupid" are used in this story for parents who like to not encourage their children to speak like that. VERY cleverly written story though with many plays on words that probably will go over younger kids heads but older kids and adults will appreciate. How about the fox named Alec Smart?!
Great book from our library that is not only well written but is also delightfully illustrated. Enjoy! Thanks, Liz
I read the novel aloud to my Primary 3 class. This is the book review written by Shane Cumiskey(aged 7).
I really liked this story and it put a smile on my face the whole way through.Once there was a cat, this wasn't any ordinary cat - he didn't like to eat mice.The cat's name was Martin. Martin lived with his mum, brother and sister.Martin wanted a mouse for a pet. He caught a girl mouse but he didn't know she was going to have babies.Her name was Drusilla.He kept them all in a bathtub but they didn't know that Martin's brother and sister were about and that they wanted to eat them. Then Martin got sold and he was kept as a pet. He found out that being a pet isn't much fun so when he returns home he decides to let Drusilla keep her freedom.
My two sons have really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read for my 9 year old and a little more taxing for my 7year old. Such a beautiful story for boys and girls to enjoy. We just could not put this book down. Our favorite book by DKS.
A delightful read, Dick King Smith's "Martin's Mice" is one of my favourite stories that tells of curious cat Martin and his obsession with mice as potential pets, until one day he comes across a mouse, not knowing anything about pregnancy and that it will amount to more mice than he can manage.