Reading Dick’s Books: Book Five

Published on Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

Book Five: Magnus Powermouse (1982).

We, Dick’s family, have decided to start rereading (or in some cases reading) some of Dick’s books…

Magnus Powermouse was Dick’s third book, coming just after Daggie Dogfoot and just before The Queen’s Nose.

The book takes the reader into a typical farmyard setting, where mouse mother and mouse father Madeleine and Marcus Aurelius have just welcomed a newborn baby mouse. Not just any newborn baby mouse though; “He’s as big as a baby rat. Whatever will his father say?”

Not only is Magnus, as they decide to name him (‘great’ in Latin), a very large baby, he is also ravenously hungry. Always.

As his parents struggle to feed the mighty mouse, it seems they have found a solution to satisfy Magnus’ hunger – a large cardboard packet with the words ‘Pennyfeather’s Patent Porker Pills’ written on the side. But perhaps pig-fattening pills aren’t quite the right thing to feed an already very large mouse…

Magnus grows, and he grows, and he grows…

What follows is one of Dick’s best stories.

Magnus Powermouse is filled with a great variety of interesting farmyard characters including the learned Marcus Aurelius (who grew up in an Oxford College), no-nonsense Madeleine, the kindly rabbit Roland, some sinister and threatening farm cats, and not least, the terrifyingly fierce, very strong, insatiably hungry and unstoppably determined Magnus himself.

This book is packed full of humour, adventure and charm. Currently, it is out of print, (watch this space), but you can find a second-hand copy or your local library might be able to help. I would highly recommend this book for 7-9 year olds. It would be great as a read-aloud too. I am 40, and I very much enjoyed re-reading it!

Thanks for reading. Below is a small extract…

Charlie (one of Dick’s grandsons).

‘Magnus did not run, did not retreat an inch. Rather did he move a step towards the enemy, and as he did so, his coat rose on end, with fright, one might have thought, making him appear even bigger. But it was not fright, it was anger.

Tulip-eared, harsh-coated, his long tail stiffly out behind him like a pointing dog, he moved a fraction nearer still. And the silence was broken.

“Nasty cat,” said Magnus distinctly, in a voice made all the more compelling by its unnatural quietness.
“Nasty cat. Bite you.”‘

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