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Winsome, humorous, and insightful, this first chapter book in author Kate DiCamillo’s upcoming trilogy for children ages 5-8 explores the wonder and delight of an extraordinary friendship between unlikely partners.

Orris the rat is happy to be left alone in a quiet barn in his nest with his treasures: a velvet slipper, a yellow marble and a sardine can, on which is written “Imperial Sardine … Make the good and noble choice!!”

One night, Orris’s solitude is interrupted by a cry for help. When he peeks out of his nest, he discovers a small snowy owl caught in a mousetrap that is nailed to the floor. Orris knows the dangers of traps and ignores the owl’s cries for help, returning to his nest.

But Orris is unable to relax as he squirms beneath the forceful scrutiny of the sardine king urging him to “make the good and noble choice.”

Though Orris is wise in the ways of the world—its dangers, fables and usual outcomes—Timble, the owl, is naively unaware of any of these realities. Trusting, hopeful, and loving, Timble waits for Orris’s help and finally receives it. When Timble flies away, Orris discovers in himself a surprising longing for connection he has not experienced before. When Timble returns with a sweet gift to express his gratitude, the rat and the owl embark on a unique friendship, a result of the good and noble choice that Orris dared to make.

Illustrator Carmen Mok’s endearing artwork and author Kate DiCamillo’s captivating narrative combine to create not only a celebration of friendship, but of a friendship established through taking a risk and crossing a great divide. As such, the book reflects the way God wants his children to live in relationship with others, no matter their differences. (Candlewick)

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