Thursday, 15 May 2014
Review: Millhouse by Natale Ghent
Publisher: Tundra Books
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: May 13th, 2014
Millhouse is a faint-hearted, hairless guinea pig. A great lover of all things theatrical, most especially the work of William Shakespeare, Milly longs for the limelight and someone to love. However, after the death of his beloved owner, the great actor Sir Roderick Lord Kingswagger, Millhouse is abandoned to a neglected and dusty pet shop filled with other rodents -- some rude, some odd, some cute and some downright frightening. Finding himself a reviled outcast and a target of the nasty Pepper Brown ferret, Millhouse sets about trying to find a way back to the theater and a happy home, and in doing so experiences more drama than he could ever have imagined.
Millhouse is a children's book with a difference: it's all about guinea pigs! It's the first book like this I've read since reading Babe when I was younger - I don't usually gravitate towards books about animals but this one caught my eye because I thought the cover was cute. It's a great book for kids and will appeal to anyone who likes animal literature.
Millhouse, also known as Milly, is a guinea pig who is unfortunately bald. His owner died and now he lives in a pet shop along with other guinea pigs, mice, lizards and horrible ferrets. He's a big fan of Shakespeare and just wants to be in the theatre, but more than anything be wants someone to give him a home, despite his oddities.
Milly is a lovely character, so full of life and wisdom. He becomes like a father figure to baby mice and teaches them Shakespeare plays, he's a quick thinker in a potentially fatal emergency and he never lets anything get him down, even though he's always overlooked when it comes to owners choosing a pet to take home. He always does what he wants and doesn't let any of the other guinea pigs stand in his way, which is a good, positive message for anyone reading the book.
Funny and heartfelt, Millhouse is a book that will appeal to a wide range of younger readers. It's beautifully illustrated throughout, bringing the guineas and other animals to life and giving them even more of a personality. It's a fun read filled with great escapes, budding friendships and, of course, a little bit of the Bard. What more could you want?!