Reading Level: Children’s
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Size: 144 pages
Release Date: November 23, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: Companion to the Mouse Guard series
Rating: 4/5 stars
My 6 year old son and I are huge fans of the Mouse Guard series. So for a present on his first day of school I got him this book and then we slowly read through the stories together. Like any anthology the stories are hit and miss, but overall it’s a good collection of Mouse Guard related stories by various authors.
The premise behind this book is that a whole bunch of mice are gathered in a tavern and they all owe the proprietor money. The proprietor, June, proposes a contest. The mouse that tells the best tale will have his/her tab paid for and everyone else who participates has to pay their tab within 7 days. As the contest proceeds where hear a variety of tales from a variety of mice. All of them involve either lore of the mice or the hardships the Mouse Guard face in their daily lives.
The illustrations and stories range widely. Some are about old mice who went on great adventures, some are about the daily trials of the Mouse Guard, and one is even about a mouse who thinks he is a fox. Most of the stories are very well done and have beautiful (if varied) styles of illustration.
However, there were a couple that fell short for me. One story in particular was done a very sketchy cartoonish way and had no dialogue. As a result both me and my son were a bit confused about what was going on. The artwork definitely wasn’t good enough to convey a cohesive story and there was no dialogue.
I enjoyed the interludes between stories that took place in the tavern, these were all done by David Peterson and were beautifully illustrated and written.
Overall a solid collection of graphic novel stories that all tie in with the Mouse Guard theme. As with any anthology some are spectacular and others not so much. The majority of the stories were beautifully illustrated in a range of styles and very well written. There were a couple I had trouble following. I would definitely recommend this collection to Mouse Guard fans and to fans of fantasy graphic novels in general.