Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Basil In Mexico by Eve Titus

Basil In Mexico is a very fun, very quick read. Funny word games are played, where Basil and another character throw around words... they come up with "pride and propriety, snobs and society; chocolate and cheeses, bridges and breezes..."(18) and much more. Later, Titus plays with words again. There are cute street children who become Basil's Irregulars. One says the following while introducing his friends and himself to the famous detective over a meal: "To my right, Ricardo, Edourdo, Bernardo. To my left, Roberto, Alberto, Gilberto. I'm Hector" (50). Women's rights are talked about at an extent, and many more historical accounts are thrust into the story. Aside from history, language is also 'taught'. The reader is told the spanish word for cat (gato), and some verbs: comprar (to buy), volar (to fly), llorar (to cry), mandar (to send), prestar (to lend), and terminar (to end).

Basil is a mouse. He lives near Sherlock Holmes and takes notes of this detective's theories and strategies. He says : "My only aim is to follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes" (107). To the mouse world, Basil is Sherlock. He is well loved by everyone and has a reputation for his mystery-solving. This is why he is going to Mexico. They need his help, something very important has been stolen, and they want Basil and his assistant, David Q. Dawson, to help them find the crook. Was it the museum curator, the nosey file clerk, the work mouse, the guard, the arch villan, or the dictator? Only Basil can find out.

(If you are interested, Disney made a movie in 1992 biased off of Titus' books; it is called 'Basil, the Great Mouse Detective')

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