Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Report: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

One of the greatest messages conveyed in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is the idea that even if you're small, seemingly powerless, and perhaps reviled, you can still accomplish great things without compromising your integrity. Yes, that is a lesson learned from mice and rats. Sadly, no mice or rats appear in this post. Rather silly, I know, but have you tried finding pictures of rats engaged in industrious say building a plow or an elevator? It's a tad difficult. So, I'm basically giving a big old F you to Mrs. Frisby and the enlightened rats of NIMH. But not really, because I do love them. I mean, seriously. Justin the rat was one of my childhood crushes...

"The rats on Mr. Fitzgibbon's farm have--things--ways--you know nothing about. They are not like the rest of us. They are not, I think, even like most other rats. They work at night, in secret. Mrs. Frisby, do you know their main entrance?"

"In the rosebush? Yes."

"Go there. You will find a sentry guarding the door. His name is Justin. Tell him who you are, and that you come at my request. Tell him that you want to see a rat named Nicodemus. I think they will let you in, though they may insist on swearing you to secrecy. If they should ask that, you must of course use your own judgement; but my advice would be to do as they ask."  --Robert C. O' Brien

Not surprisingly, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (the book) is quite a bit different from The Secret of NIMH (the animated film), and I'm not just saying that because the title character was changed from Mrs. Frisby to Mrs. Brisby in order to avoid some sort of copyright infringement on the flying disc of the same (sort of) name. There's a whole layer of magic (the Stone!) and violence (Jenner!) to the film that's largely absent in the movie. This is not to say that I like the movie far less than the book--I love The Secret of NIMH!--they're just, as these things tend to be, different.

If you love adventurous and noble animals like Mrs. Frisby and the rats, you might want to check out Stuart Little by E.B. White, Watership Down by Richard Adams, or Brian Jacques phenomenal Redwall series beginning with Redwall. They're all quite stellar. 

1. Over the fence, by Age Old Tree; 2. English roses, by With My Hands; 3. Farm garden, via Dust Jacket; 4. Library ladder, via Booklover; 5. Lights, via Oh, Pioneer!; 6. Victorian beehive birdcage, via Sadie Olive Antiquity;  7. Sweet honey shawl, by Quince & Co.; 8. Boots, via Don't Make Plans; 9. Satchel, via FFFFOUND!; 10. Indian Eagle Owl, by Woolybackviks; 11. Marmelade cat, via Dear World, You're Pretty!; 12. Crow, via Look at the Camera.

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