What do mice and Sherlock Holmes have in common? Basil of Baker Street of course! Eve Titus’s book can be difficult to acquire since it is no longer in print, but several used bookstores still carry it at reasonable prices. If your child is seeking a story of mystery, intrigue, a bit of adventure, and mice in Victorian era clothing, then this is the perfect story. Basil is indeed a mouse detective hired by the Proudfoots to find their missing twin daughters. Accompanied by his colleague Mr. Dawson, they solve the mystery and save the day in this classic children’s book.
It’s hard not to enjoy a story when creatures as small as mice take charge and perform impressive feats. Illustrator Paul Galdone does nothing to make the mice seem more human – they really are mice in suits and comfortable robes, from their dark eyes right down to their sharp-clawed little hands. It’s a nice change from some of the “humanized” animal illustrations often seen today. Basil of Baker Street isn’t alone either. There are four subsequent books that children will enjoy. Eve Titus makes sure the story doesn’t slow down so children remain interested. Children ages 8 to 11 will appreciate the fun mouse-like terms (such as taking notes in “shortpaw” as opposed to shorthand) and see the world through a mouse’s eyes in Basil of Baker Street. Read either a little at a time before bed or all in one sitting, both kids and adult Sherlock Holmes fans will love Titus’s adaptation of Doyle’s classic stories and be eager for more.