Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (13 May 2008)
Category(ies): Children's Fantasy
Nurkus Aurelias Alonzo Electron Maximilian Shrew is, as his familial indicates, a shrew. He lives in house under the roots of a willow tree, and he's led a quiet life since his parents were carried off and eaten by an owl. He is so not looking for any form of adventure, but then a letter arrives apparently for him, and he sets off downstream, where he's rescued by a princess, and ends up getting embroiled anyway.
This is, as noted, a story for children. It's lightly illustrated with black and white drawings, so despite being primarily known as an artist, Vernon is relying on the words to carry the story. Which they do. There are nice touches of humour, but not to the extent of derailing a clearly delineated storyline. Nurk himself learns how to be brave, but he also has a deep down practicality of the sort that insists on taking enough socks along. This story is suitable for quite young children, and is utterly charming.