American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2007 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Book Review

Anika and the Magic Top

By Hattie McRattie

Written by Karoline Blaha-Black
Illustrated by Judith W. Huey
Self Published from
Copyright 2007, 58 Pages
ISBN 9781435711945

Anika and the Magic Top cover

Three inches into Chapter One and I knew I wouldn’t be able to put Anika’s story down until I had made it to the end. Twelve lines read on the first page and I was hooked like a trout on a June Bug! What a charming story. I enjoyed every word. Oh, if we all could have a “Magic Top” and talk to our rats.

Adults who are children at heart and love fantasy or a fun book for a bedtime story will enjoy this enchanting tale. Since it has no pictures, the children can exercise their imaginations. I remember the time before television when I sat in front of the big radio and had my mind filled with the pictures painted by the words of the storytellers. Karoline has that gift. To quote her mom and dad in the book, “She has quite an imagination!”

Karoline’s book can be found at, searching by her name. You can purchase the book for $12 or download the text for $6.31. You can also contact Karoline at The following is a synopsis of her story:

“Less than twelve-year-old Anika finds a magical spinning top in her mother’s garden. Upon spinning it, it transports her to a land called Animalia. It is a magical land where only animals live, and an evil opossum king called Zarr rules it. Zarr steals the top, Anika’s only way of return to Earth, but Anika and her friends figure out a desperate plan. They manage to trick Zarr, and Anika banishes him with the help of the top to an unknown land, so he can’t tyrannize Animalia anymore. Victorious, she returns to Earth with a special gift from the Animalians and rejoins her family.” *

Updated March 30, 2016