Pests

Pests
Emer Stamp
Hodder Children’s Books

Having received a proof of this hilarious story from the publishers a little while ago, I was excited to see a finished copy of the book with its ‘glow in the dark’ cover drop through my letterbox.

Star of the show, Stix is a tiny mouse that lives with his ancient Grandma behind the washing machine of Flat 3, Peewit Mansions. The ’mans’ family – Schnookums, My Love and tiny Boo-Boo also live there along with their dog Trevor, the only one that knows anything about their flat-sharing mice.

The mice have survived thus far by sticking firmly to Grandma’s strict rules – number 3 being ‘never poop in places mans will see’. Breaking this rule would result in a visit from Nuke-a-Pest.

One night into this peaceable place of co-existence comes Maximus a nasty rat with his two hangers on Plague One and Plague Two. His arrival soon results in disaster of the discovery kind, which is followed speedily by Sheila, Emergency Response Exterminator who flushes Grandma down the loo.

At least her ‘dead’ pose was a success but it leaves Stix alone, well not quite alone for back on the scene comes the previously encountered Batz, student at the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels (aka PESTS).

Stix joins the basement school and finds himself learning a whole new set of rules as well as competing in the Pest of the Year competition, determined to knock the dastardly Maximus off the top spot.

Step forward rule saboteur Professor Armageddon with a terrible plot of his own; but is Stix prepared to follow the directions of a cockroach and do what he knows to be wrong in order to gain extra points in a competition?

All’s well that ends well and this tale surely does. With an infusion of toilet humour, a great deal of suspense and some brilliant characterisation, this is a terrific adventure; there’s warmth and wisdom too; and the illustrations, generously scattered, are wonderful.  Giggles aplenty guaranteed throughout.

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