Book Review: The Rescuers – A Fantasy

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Year: 1959

Pages: 150

Type: Hardcover

ISBN: 59-6477 (First Edition)

I was thinking, added Madam Chairwoman, of Miss Bianca.”

This action-adventure story is about three courageous mice each from a different background who go on a quest to rescue a Norwegian poet imprisoned in…The Black Castle–the roughest prison in a rough, uncivilized country. This story is about bravery, trust, and friendship.

Marjorie Sharp – Clara Margery Melita Sharp (25 January 1905 – 14 March 1991) was an English author of 25 novels for adults, 14 novels for children and the young at heart, four plays, two mysteries, and numerous short stories. Her best known work is The Rescuers series about a heroic mouse named Miss Bianca and her partner Bernard.

Garth Williams – Garth Montgomery Williams (April 16, 1912 – May 8, 1996) was an American artist who came to prominence in the American postwar era as an illustrator of children’s books. Many of the books he illustrated have become classics of American children’s literature in no small part because of the friendly, fuzzy baby animals that often inhabited his artwork.

One of my favorite animated movies as a kid was Disney’s Rescuers which came out in 1977. I loved everything about it, down to its musical score. It was such a tender, sad, and sweet story (with many funny moments woven in for good measure!). I didn’t know that it was based upon a children’s book until this summer when I found this copy at a thrift store. And until today, I didn’t know this Rescuers book is the first in a series of nine books dealing with the adventures of Bianca and Bernard. It is the second book entitled Miss Bianca that Disney’s The Rescuers is based off of. In both the book and the movie, Miss Bianca is a beautiful, well-bred mouse used to the finer things in life, and Bernard is a humble, stalwart sort of fellow from a working-class background. They volunteer for a mouse-led organization that helps humans in need. Poor Nils doesn’t get even a cameo in the Disney version, whilst he is an integral character in this book.

The artwork is very charming and detailed, helping the reader imagine him/herself there personally watching the events unfold. I enjoyed peering into the little nooks and crannies of the pictures, to see what gems of plot points were hidden there. I was not disappointed. Mr. Williams’ illustrations really do capture the mood and movement of the narrative.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 Stars. Whether you read this to your child, or read it for yourself, you will be happy you did. Your children will thank you for it!

We have a few books in our collection that feature the Disney version of the Rescuers. One continues with the characters from the movie in the Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading series. Return to the bayou for another treasure hunt! It got 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

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