THE CHURCH MICE IN ACTION by Graham Oakley

THE CHURCH MICE IN ACTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

More schemes and uproar perpetrated by Oakley's cat Sampson and the church mice, first seen lounging ""in a mellow mood"" until Sampson is taken into the vicarage by the parson's visiting sister. (In typical Oakley manner, she is pictured from Sampson's viewpoint as a looming, gussied-up fussbudget.) Although Sampson may not he happy with the dolling-up she gives him, the mice decide to make the best of it: they send a note suggesting that she enter Sampson in a cat show and use the ""best-groomed"" prize money he's now sure to win to fix the vestry roof. At mouse Humphrey's suggestion, the mice then conspire to ensure that Sampson will win: Oakley tells us only, ""The plan was very simple, though it called for the most steely nerved of mice to carry it out""--but the pictures show us why that's so, with mice peeking out from the judge's sleeves, enticing the other cats to break decorum and become ""devilish fiends"" and ""ravaging"" beasts."" The plan goes awry when two scuzzy characters, disguised as a revolting Texan tourist couple, kidnap Sampson and the prize money. The mice rush to the rescue. . . and so begins the obligatory chase that takes them all into the countryside and up against a charging bull, a line of laundry, a hive of bees, and a fire that finishes off the prize money. This is routine stuff compared to the teeming brilliance of some of Oakley's chase scenes, but it all ends on a typical dry note: ""So there were no more cat shows. A few days later the parson's sister went home and soon after that the last whiffs of Magnolia Blossom faded out of Sampson's fur and the mice stopped holding their noses when they came near him."" And that earlier cat show is worth attending.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1983
Publisher: Atheneum