Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time stops for no Mouse by Michael Hoeye

My library motto is “Read only on the days you eat”. Thanks to the Alberta Elementary School library where I spied this in 1994. This seems a perfect way to start talking about Time stops for no Mouse by Michael Hoeye. Read, yes everyone should read this book! – Read only on the days - yes make time to read every day! Eat! This book is delicious – it is so good you will want to eat it up in one sitting, read it twice as I just have and as an added bonus it is filled with delicious food and absolutely delicious characters with fabulous names like our hero Hermux Tantamoq.

Hermux is a watch maker. One morning a new customer arrives with a badly damaged wristwatch. Her name is Linka Perflinger and she explains to Hermux that she cannot exist without her watch. It must be repaired quickly. Hermux promises the watch will be ready the next day by 12 noon even though the repairs will be difficult and intricate but, as you may have already guessed, Linka does not arrive to collect her watch. This is the start of a wild adventure for Hermux involving the evil Hiril Mennus, the crazy Tucka Mertslin and his special friend Mirrin Stentrill. I should probably mention Hermux is a mouse and the other characters are assorted rats, moles, stoats and so on. There is also one very special lady beetle called Terfle.

One part of this book that I especially like is the descriptions of the characters – here are a couple of samples.

Linka
Her face was set in a sharp frown, but it was such a jolly bright face that the frown looked out of place. She wore no make-up. Just her natural fur. A dark glossy brown. She had on a red cap with a bright green feather in its brim, a jaunty, checked scarf, and a somewhat worn looking leather flight jacket.”

Tucka
Tucka’s cheeks were dusted with a fine orange powder that gave her the appearance of being on fire. The whiskers above her smallish eyes had been extended so dramatically that they bobbed about like antennae nearly tangling in the ribbons. Her lips were drawn coal black, shiny and glistening. She smiled at him dangerously.”

I really love so many aspects of this book but there are two more things I need to mention. I adore Hermux’s clothes and colour sense and Michael Hoeye really allows his readers to see each scene. You will feel like you have been to the watch shop, the lobby of Hermux’s apartment as Tucka remodels it, the health farm bungalow run by the evil Dr Mennus and the home of Linka after it has been ransacked.

There are three sequels to Time stops for no MouseThe Sands of time, No time like showtime and Time to smell the roses and I enjoyed all of them. If you have read The Mysterious Benedict Society then you will love Time Stops for no mouse. You might also look for Tuck everlasting which explores the idea of eternal youth in a more sophisticated way.

Listen to an extract here. Also Hermux has his own web site!

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