The Sands of time
by Michale Hoeye
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Mouse watchmaker Hermux Tantamoq returns in this sequel to Time Stops for No Mouse (Putnam, 2002). He teams up with a chipmunk to investigate an ancient Cat Kingdom, and the friends uncover evidence suggesting that felines once kept mice as slaves. Their work pits them against a highly regarded scholar with evil designs, a greedy but beautiful cosmetics tycoon, and a "mouse supremacist group." With hidden tombs, dynamite traps, and last-second escapes, the plot moves quickly. The melodramatic moments are nicely tempered by a lighthearted tone and subtle wit, and the "racism" of mice and the notion that the past should be studied even if it's unpleasant are thought provoking. The mouse-ruled world is easy and fun to slip into, with charming details about food, pets, and fashion, and other assorted topics revealed with dry humor. The tentative romance between Hermux and Linka, the daring mouse aviatrix, progresses significantly by the time this tale concludes. The watchmaker is an endearing hero. His modest, unassuming manner doesn't quite hide his courage and cleverness, recalling Bernard of Margery Sharp's The Rescuers (Little, Brown, 1959; o.p.) and E. B. White's protagonist from Stuart Little (HarperCollins, 1945). Supporting characters are distinct and amusing, particularly Tucka Mertslin, the cosmetics queen. The 80 short chapters move briskly and have a satisfying conclusion that clearly paves the way for future adventures.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.