When I happily stumbled upon the online comic "Chevalier: The Queen's Mouseketeer" which forms the foundation of the book "Chevalier the Queen's Mouseketeer: The Hither and Yon" I enjoyed reading that it's creators writer Darryl Hughes and artist Monique MacNaughton describe it as "The Princess Bride meets the Lord of the Rings in a Disney/Pixar movie written in Dr.Seuss rhyme starring a mouse". And I couldn't agree more.
First of all the book is beautiful. Perfectly square to fit nicely into little hands, with high glossy, full color pages that really bring out the timeless quality of both MacNaughton's illustrations and Hughes' modern take on the classic fairy tale.
Set in the fairy tale land of the Hither and Yon, where people live side by side with talking animals, elves, dwarves, fairies, unicorns, and other mythological creatures, complete with a fairy tale princess, and yes, even a handsome prince charming (literally) to woo her. But when the fairy tale turns darker and the safety of the princess is put into jeopardy, it isn't prince Charming but a young blacksmith mouse named Chevalier, who dreams of a life of high adventure as a dashing "mouseketeer" to the dismay of his studious brother and the delight of his young nephew, who answers the heroes call to save the princess and stop the coming war between two kingdoms.
Reading this book reminded me of when I was young and saw the old classic Disney movies like "Snow White", The sword in the stone", and others for the first time. Chevalier is a simple story, told in a timeless manner that has scope, and depth, and even a sense of grandeur in both the storytelling and the artwork that fairy tales and children's stories had long ago. It doesn't talk down to it's reader whether that's a 4 year old reading their very first book, an 8 year old looking for their next new book, or a parent reading it to entertain their kids at storytime. Chevalier simply seeks to entertain it's reader. And if that reader is you, then entertained you will be. Just like me.
Looking forward to book two. :)