By Richard Peck, read by Jayne Entwistle
Published 2012 by Listening Library
Helena is the oldest sibling in the Downstairs Cranston family, which just happens to be a family of mice. When the Upstairs Cranstons (the humans in whose house the mice family lives) announce a transatlantic trip to find a husband for one of the daughters, the Downstairs Cranstons decide to keep all the Cranstons together and accompany them, even though mice are not good with water. What follows is an adventurous journey overseas, filled with surprises for all.
Shame on me but I've never actually read Richard Peck before. None of his books ever really jumped out at me before, though he has won awards and has received great reviews. I picked up this audiobook on a whim, figuring it would be a light and quick listen. I'm not really a huge fan of talking animal stories, but I keep reading them. Perhaps it's an attempt to discover why I dislike them, or just a personal challenge to find more than I actually enjoy. Either way, this one was sort of middle of the road for me. Not amazing, but not terrible. There are enough hijinks and craziness to keep kids entertained but there isn't a ton of substance to the story. I thought Helena's voice was interesting - I like that she kept repeating herself; it seemed like something a mouse would do. Overall, though, I wasn't as impressed as I hoped to be. But this is still a fun and adventurous read for young readers. The audiobook reader had a pleasant voice but I was sad to miss out on the illustrations that accompany the printed text.