What a fantastic book. I'd of course heard about the movie, but it was Jarrett who actually recommended the book. I'm quite surprised that I never came across it as a child, either read to me or read by myself. If you're not familiar with the story, it's about a widowed mouse who, in trying to find a way to help her sick son, discovers a community of very stange rats. I don't want to say anything more than that (like the méchant book flap which tells almost the whole story) about the plot, because the story itself is part of the pleasure of reading the book.
This book does a tremendous job of capturing the cozy but limited world of the small animals living on the fringe of man and wilderness. With that foundation, it then creates an exquisite sense of wonder and excitement. Each new area outside Mrs. Frisby's (the mouse widow) experienced world is a little adventure in and of itself. It's tightly structured and the characters are strong and simple. It is also an innocent book, with a sense of reality. It believes in education and kindness, but is aware of the dangers of growth and science.
I read this in a day. Strongly recommended.