Mouse Guard: Baldwin The Brave and Other Tales
Stories and Art by David Petersen
Published by Archaia (A Division of Boom Entertainment)
In his foreword to this book David Petersen says “I encourage you to read these stories aloud to loved ones” this is sentiment that I really think could be attached to any of the Mouse Guard series so far of which this is the sixth. The previous five books have been firm favourites with me, bringing together art and story that could be enjoyed by any generation. Not since I would say Jeff Smith’s Bone has there been a book that could so widely been appreciated with both young and older readers.
If you’ve never been introduced to the world of Mouse Guard let me give you a little insight, it’s probably what you’d guess it was but regardless. This is the story of the world of mice, they have their daily lives threatened by predators from land, sea and sky as well as the harshness of weather and not always being able to get the food to survive. In it’s main story we follow three members of the Mouse Guard, each one possession his own separate character trait. At its most basinal element it’s The Three Musketeers (or MOUSEketters!!!……I’ll get my coat). It’s a beautifully woven world coupled with some truly gorgeous artwork. The kind of stuff you’d hang on your wall. It’s a book that I’ll be passing down to my sister’s children whenever I feel they’ve hit the appropriate age, a series to be treasured.
Baldwin The Brave and Other Tales is more of a kin to the two Legends of the Guard part of the series, it is a collection of stories and in some cases poems regarding tales of members of the Guard. Again I just can’t seem to find a flaw with this series, it’s just spectacularly well drawn and although these particular set of stories would probably be more attractive to a younger audience it didn’t bother me at all. I got a previously untold story about a young member of the Mouse Guard that I hadn’t heard before and I got another tale of the mythical Black Axe.
I’d say that this is also an excellent jumping on point for any would be readers of the series, you get a flavour of the art, the world and it’s tone without having to really commit yourself to a full series, although if you’re anything like me you’ll buy all the books when you first take a glimpse at the artwork.
It’s a book that’ll I’ll happily read again and again. And at one stage who knows maybe even aloud to loved ones.