Orphaned and alone, she must begin a perilous quest to find a new home. But the only way to get there is by joining Noah's Ark, a secret gang of animals fighting with the resistance in France, operating beneath the feet of the human soldiers. Danger is everywhere and as the enemy closes in, Pip must risk everything to save her new friends.
Beautifully illustrated by Sam Usher, Anna Fargher's debut novel takes you on an incredible journey through a war that reaches even the smallest of creatures.
Reviewed by Simone Goward
Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue is the sequel to the award-winning Umbrella Mouse. Set during WW2, intrepid little mouse Pip, finds herself caught up once more with Animal Ark. Unbeknown to humans, this network of fearless animals supports the French Resistance in their fight to liberate France.
Often, books written by British authors are set in the UK and focus on children living through the blitz or experiencing evacuation. In contrast, the setting of this story offers a glimpse of the Nazi occupation of France. This historical viewpoint is likely to be new to a British middle-grade audience, making it a good book to have as part of a WW2 collection in UKS2. It may be beneficial for children to have some background knowledge of the role of the French Resistance and the Nazi’s occupation of France. Without a basic understanding, the story could be confusing to less experienced readers as they keep hold of a fast-paced plot and its historical context.
The story contains, or references, a large number of characters and their backstories. This may be demanding for less confident readers or those who haven’t read the first book. However, it shouldn’t prove too challenging for more experienced readers.
At its heart, this is a story about friendship and putting others before yourself. It’s an ideal book for fluent UKS2 readers who love anthropomorphic adventures or a historical novel from an original perspective.