A note on an old scrap of paper leads two intrepid mice to sunken treasure.
As in Kuhlmann’s Armstrong (2016) and Lindbergh (2014), the journey turns out to be at least as rewarding as the prize. Inspired by a generations-old family story, young Pete enlists the help of a pipe-smoking professor at the University of Mice—first to search old records for the location of a certain ocean liner that had sunk in the mid-Atlantic, and then to invent a submarine that will allow them to explore the wreck. “We need to approach the problem scientifically,” says the professor…and so begins a laborious, sometimes-dangerous process of trial and error, of study and experiment. In the pictures, which are rendered with terrific attention to fine detail in equally arresting monochrome and sepia-toned color, mice scamper through human-sized archival files, design a fishlike submarine that takes shape rivet by rivet, then dive past swirling shoals of fish and an immense whale. The minuscule divers emerge in antique-looking gear to enter a shadowy wreck, examine a spill of outsized coins and other wrack, then carry a small chest back to their craft. That chest contains not gold but a diary with diagrams that connect Pete’s ancestor with one of the greatest human inventors of all. The author closes with nods to both Thomas Edison and to several earlier experimenters with claims to the first light bulb.
Another technological watershed—crossed first by a mouse. (Fantasy. 8-11)