When Benjamin Middlemouse's mother goes missing from their home in the armoire, Benjamin and his friend Bumper (a small elephant who lives on the bed) go on a search-and-rescue mission that takes them into the kitchen, out to the garden...and straight up the stairs to Sir Pouncelot's tower. Will they free Mrs. Middlemouse from her cage before Sir Pouncelot (ha!) bakes her into a casserole? Well, yes, but how they do it--and make him promise never to eat mice (or moles) again in the bargain--is part of the homespun, handmade charm of Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue by Molly Coxe, with photographs by Olivier Toppin (BraveMouse Books, 2010).
Benjamin, Bumper, Mrs. Middlemouse, and Sir Pouncelot, not to mention the miniature world they inhabit, are quite literally the creations of author Molly Coxe. (You can make a BraveMouse like Benjamin, too! Molly and her daughter show you how.) They were photographed for this book by Olivier Toppin, who specializes in lighting effects that set a magical mood. It doesn't hurt that the photos were taken in a medieval French village, either.
The interior scenes, like the one in Benjamin's bedroom (above), are filled with a combination of repurposed, miniature, and handmade items that child readers with an eye for detail will love to discover. I especially liked the outdoor shots, too: the whole thing, from kitchen to garden, feels very French. [A good thing! More sample pages at BraveMouse Books.]
It's clear that great care and love have been lavished on this book, the first in the Adventures of Benjamin and Bumper series to come out of "mouse-sized" publishing company BraveMouse Books (a story in themselves). The next book in the series, Posie and the Pirates, promises more small adventures for the BraveMice (and Bumper). Watch out for the Roof Rats!
[N.b. Review copy provided by the publisher; thank you!]