MILLHOUSE by Natale Ghent


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
Email this review


A hairless guinea pig with self-esteem issues sheds them after several adventures.

By day Millhouse—“Milly” as he calls himself—crouches in misery in his pet-store cage as the other animals in the unwieldy cast jeer at him and customers pass him by with barely a glance. At night, though, he escapes to ramble about the shop and (having previously belonged to a stage actor) declaim Shakespeare. With help from an asthmatic old rat and a squad of military mice, Milly not only keeps up with theatrical doings outside the pet shop, but at last finds a way to attend a performance of King Lear starring Peter Ustinov. Along with miraculously escaping repeated attacks by a vicious ferret who turns out to be a frustrated thespian himself, Milly later saves the shop from a fire and so becomes a hero whose reward ultimately comes in the person of a young girl who is also in love with theater and sweeps him away to a happy future on, as the last of the occasional delicately inked drawings reveals, a homemade stage. These events all feel thrown together haphazardly rather than strung together in a logical fashion. Moreover, unlike Stuart Little, Despereaux and the many other small creatures who have set out to find themselves, Milly’s yearning to be sold to a new owner comes off as, at best, unambitious.

A patchwork effort that makes neither hay of its protagonist’s unusual talents nor much sense. (cast list) (Animal fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 13th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-770-49639-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


ChildrenSECRETS AT SEA by Richard Peck
by Richard Peck
ChildrenGUINEA DOG by Patrick Jennings
by Patrick Jennings
ChildrenTHE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo
by Kate DiCamillo
ChildrenSTUART LITTLE by E.B. White
by E.B. White