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Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue

Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue

Published: 23 Jul 2020

Paperback / softback, 256 pages

Recommended for age 9+

By Anna Fargher

Illustrated by Sam Usher

Published by Pan Macmillan

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A breathtaking story of bravery, friendship and fighting for what you believe in, Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue is the eagerly anticipated sequel to Anna Fargher's bestselling and award-winning The Umbrella Mouse, based on the true stories of the heroic animals caught in the conflict of WWII. Young mouse Pip Hanway is in France as she continues fighting for the French Resistance group Noah's Ark: a secret gang of animals operating beneath the feet of human soldiers, whose aim is to liberate France and secure the victory of the Allies. Determined to reach her ancestral home of the Umbrella Museum in Italy, Pip hopes she can find a long-lost family and a home.

But as Pip makes the perilous journey through occupied territory, she soon realizes that danger comes from all sides and that the enemy is all around, and she does everything she can to fight for her friends. Beautifully illustrated by Sam Usher, Pip will take you on an incredible journey through a war that reaches even the smallest of creatures.

Tagged First World War and resistance

The Umbrella Mouse series

The Umbrella Mouse
Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue
Anna Fargher, author of The Umbrella Mouse and The Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue talks to Nikki Gamble about the wartime inspiration behind her stories and the family history that sparked her interest.

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.

I am a KS2 teacher and English coordinator working in a Shropshire primary school. When not reading something from my tottering TBR pile, you'll find me mooching around bookshops trying to find something to add to it.