by James Stevenson
HarperCollins, April, 2002.
Picture Book, 32 pages.
Ages 5 and up
Hubie the mouse has been the subject of three previous books by James Stevenson. Because we already know Hubie, we can relax and enjoy this adventure for all its wild, imaginative events and unlikely happenings. Somehow, in the end it all seems to make sense, if you know Hubie, of course.
Hubie, for those who have not met him, is the youngest in a family of upper middle class mice who enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle set in the 1930s. The story begins with the family going to a movie at the big, beautiful movie house. Father thinks that the movie the family has come to see just might be too grownup for Hubie. Hubie, of course must defend the fact that he loves grownup movies. Unfortunately, the movie upsets Hubie a great deal because it is about an island, a volcano with lava and a gigantic tidal wave. Hubie maintains that he really wasn't scared, but he just does not like islands. The family is unconvinced.
Hubie's great adventure begins when his family decides to go on a vacation to the Barabooda Island. They decide get to the island by flying in a huge dirigible. Of course, Hubie gets lost below decks and actually ends up falling out a door and landing on an island inhabited by a castaway named Leo. Leo shows Hubie all the joys of his Robinson Crusoe-type existence on the island. Hubie actually begins to enjoy the island for a while until a ride on a bicycle with no brakes ends up with a fall into a river and a fall over a waterfall. Somehow Hubie and Leo fall onto the dirigible and end up on the vacation island with Hubie's family. Everyone has a wonderful time and finally they return home only to begin planning their next vacation.
Young readers will especially enjoy the cartoon style of James Stevenson. Witty dialogue combined with droll sketches of the characters are bound to entertain young readers. The Castaway is a wonderful and ridiculous adventure, and it is sure to entertain all who read it.
--Sarah Reaves White
The Castaway is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the May, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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