Delphine and the Silver Needle

Disney-Hyperion. Mar. 2021. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781368048026.
Gr 3-6–Delphine appeared one night as a young mouseling on the steps of the Chateau Desjardins (aka Cinderella’s abode), wrapped in a cloth with a human-sized needle. Now grown, she has never quite felt like she belongs in the mouse community, though she took pleasure in her passion for sewing. Soon after Delphine sews an exquisite gown for the mouse princess, her mysterious origins catch up with her. The rats, who have had a treaty with the mice for the last 100 years, attack her in an attempt to steal her needle. Delphine’s daring escape with the dashingly obnoxious Sir Alexander (Delphine does not need rescuing, thank you very much) is the beginning of a quest to find out who she is and how she fits into the ancient magical order of the Threadeds. Along the way, she awakens the magic in the needle and herself as she realizes not all in the order are gone. This anthropomorphic animal story offers a new perspective on the typical “Cinderella” story, while hearkening back to the “Redwall” series, complete with an abbey run by a badger. The mood of this fairy-tale adventure is both exciting and reassuring, and the fast-paced plot gives enough clues to keep readers guessing without making all the connections. This first installment ends on an exciting cliff-hanger.
VERDICT A delight of a quest story that will fill the need of readers seeking a fractured fairy tale, talking animals, or just a quick-moving adventure.

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