Reviews for Journey beyond the burrow

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Heisel takes readers on a high-octane mouse-eye view of a daring rescue. The pressures of the chattering extended family crowding into the burrow in anticipation of a new baby lead Tobin, a junior weather scout mouse, to take breathers to check on a looming rainstorm. He does not realize that a greater escapade will follow, foreshadowed by descriptions of ominous clouds and references to a previous family tragedy. Despite being familiar with the Rules of Rodentia, which are peppered throughout the story, Tobin breaks many of them—but when he does, he does not brave the consequences alone. His confident, sociable younger sister, Talia, and happy-go-lucky best friend, Wiley, join him as they band together, first as aspiring weather scouts wishing to see a green sky, and ultimately, chasing down giant spiders who kidnap the newborn. The story’s rich details create a magical imaginary world, and the fast pace builds suspense, conveying the wisdom of the rules of the natural world around predator-prey dynamics, the acceptance of death as part of the order of things, and the importance of careful observation and reliance on instinct. Ultimately, the story offers powerful morals for what to do when rules stand the test of time, when they must be bent, when none exist to offer guidance, and all the gray areas in between. A delightful, detailed adventure in which a trio of mice become heroes. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.