The Rescuers by Margery Sharp ; illustrated by Garth Williams
Boston : Little, Brown and Co., 1959. First American Edition. Hardcover. 149 pages ; 20 cm. $3.50 dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
In family libraries the country over there are certain books which are a constant delight to parents and children alike. These are the books which mothers and fathers love to read aloud as much as their children love to hear them — Winnie the Pooh, The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, to name a few. THE RESCUERS, a lively blend of Margery Sharp's graceful writing and Garth Williams's magical drawings, will take its place among the most popular and enduring of these books.
Margery Sharp is famous for charmingly sophisticated, original novels like CLUNY BROWN, THE GIPSY IN THE PARLOUR, and THE EYE OF LOVE which have captivated happy readers for the last twenty-five years. THE RESCUERS, a fantasy about the adventures of three mice, is not as much of a departure as it might seem. Miss Sharp's characteristic gaiety, shrewdness, warmth and humor are in full attendance, and make this a truly civilized animal story.
The breath-taking adventure in which three assorted mice named Miss Bianca, Bernard and Nils are here engaged is set in motion by that venerable mouse organization, the Prisoners' Aid Society. A most hazardous case is on the agenda: the rescue of a Norwegian poet from the grim, windowless Black Castle, the most terrible prison in their rough, uncivilized country.
The first step, the society agrees, is to fetch a mouse from Norway who will be able to communicate with the poet when (and if) the rescuers are able to reach him. And who could be better equipped for this task than Miss Bianca, the fabulous and mysterious Embassy mouse who lives in a Porcelain Pagoda and is soon to fly to Norway with her young friend, the Ambassador's son.
When Bernard, the honest, humble pantry mouse, ventures up to Miss Bianca's golden cage, catches his breath at her soft, snowy fur and beautiful brown eyes, and persuades this delicate, sensitive creature to help in the good cause (for Miss Bianca is a poet herself), the rescue has begun — and the reader is off on one of the most charming adventures ever recorded.
As captivating as the story itself are the illustrations by Garth Williams, the famous artist of Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Rabbits' Wedding. He brings to life silky white Bianca, plain sturdy Bernard, rough Nils, and the poor beautiful poet. His thirty-five enchanting drawings keep pace with every event in the story, and make THE RESCUERS as much fun to look at as it is to read.
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