Published by Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group, 2020.
Pests is the first book in a hilarious new series by Emer Stamp. The story is narrated by Stix, a young mouse who lives with his grandma in a nest behind the washing machine in flat 3, Peewit Mansions. Grandma has set down some very strict rules for living secretly alongside the humans in flat 3; a mouse must always cover its tracks and keep things tidy. Leave a trace and you risk a phone call to the dreaded Nuke-a-Pest!
All day long Stix and Grandma hide and sleep, only venturing out at night – when they’re sure the coast is clear – to forage for food. However, Stix often sneaks out into the kitchen alone when the rest of the household is sleeping. He likes to practise his acrobatic skills back to back. He refers to them as the Stix Steeplechase. His signature move is somersaulting over the dog’s bottom!
One night Maximus, a visiting rat, interrupts Stix mid-acrobatics. He leaves a trail of biscuit destruction in his wake and disturbs the dog before fleeing. The humans of flat 3 come rushing to the kitchen and Stix is spotted. They make the call to Nuke-a-Pest. There’s nothing else for it – Grandma is forced to perform the Dead-Mouse Deception. Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned. Instead of putting Grandma in the bin, Sheila from Nuke-a-Pest flushes Grandma down the toilet!
Poor Stix is left alone. Luckily, not for long. He’s befriended by Batz – a young bat who spots him through the kitchen window. She encourages Stix to join her at the school for Pests held in the basement. Stix is going to learn to make a real pest of himself!
I really enjoyed Pests. It’s super readable and very funny. There’s absolutely loads of hilarious toilet humour. There’s a great cast of pests, including a cockroach, a rat (with his two pet fleas Plague One and Plague Two), a pigeon and a carpet beetle.
There are terrific pencil-line illustrations throughout. They really bring the characters alive and add to the humour. Oh, and I loved the amazing glow-in-the-dark cover; this will give kids even more motivation for reading under the duvet with a torch!
Pests is a cracking read – full of danger, excitement and mayhem.
Suitable for children aged 6+
Thank you to Hachette for sending me this book to review.
I reviewed this book as part of the Pests blog tour. Click here for a video of Emer talking about how she wrote the book.