This article is from the Jan./Feb. 1996 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Nichole Royer, Valencia, CA
The Tale of One Bad Rat
Written by Bryan Talbot
Published by Dark Horse Books
Originally printed as a series of four comic books, this story was so popular they published it together as a trade paperback. When I first found out about it I tried to get the series of comics, and was told by every store I went to “not a chance.” I see why now, and the store I finally found the paperback in said they couldn’t keep it in stock. Don’t let the fact that it is a comic book put you off, if you like books, rats, beautiful illustrations, or just a good story this is a must to own.
This is not a book “about rats”; instead it is a very well written story about child abuse. Through the use of wonderful illustrations it tells the tale of a runaway girl and her pet rat. From the very beginning it is obvious Mr. Talbot owns rats himself, and this is the only book I have ever read which portrays them as they really are (dear pets and loving companions) not as society has labeled them. Furthermore, it is a well researched and thought out portrayal of child abuse. Young or old, rat lover or not, everyone should read this book.
Your First Mouse
Written by Nick C. Mays
Published by T.F.H. Publications Inc.
Nick Mays has done it again. You would never guess from its initial appearance that this itsy bitsy book could contain so much good information. At 33 pages and a scant 6 x 7 inches, I was very surprised that this turned out to be one of the best “beginners” mouse books I have come across. Better yet, its very low price will make it the choice of many first time mouse owners. This book includes sections on Selection, Housing, Feeding, Handling and General Care, Breeding, Varieties, and Health. I particularly enjoyed the section on selecting a mouse which was very thorough, and the one on the different varieties which covered a great deal in a very small amount of space and even mentioned AFRMA! (thank you Mr. Mays). The only things not included which I would have liked to have seen are the fact that the cedar and pine shavings we have here in the U.S. are toxic to mice, and that lab blocks are another method of feeding. I also would have liked to have seen mention of the great difference between English and American mice, but with their beautiful mice, I doubt very much the folks in England have much experience with our little Americans. This book is not going to be sought after by the experienced fancier, but it is stuffed full of every bit of the information which is necessary to successfully keep pet mice. For anyone just starting out in mice, all pet owners, and the fanciers like me who just have to own every book on the market about our critters, I can highly recommend this one.