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MARTHA AND CHIP by Katharine Sohler

Martha and Chip is the hilarious “tail” of a fun-loving rat and an evil witch.  For centuries, the kingdom of Crabapple has been peaceful, but there is more to this calm than meets the eye.  An evil witch, Aylis, has captured all the White Mages (guardians of the city).  Martha is one of only two remaining Mages, and the only one who can set the rest of her kind free.  As she creeps into the castle, she realizes her task is going to be much more challenging than expected, the reason being Aylis’ many pets.  If they were dogs or cats or parakeets, there would be no dilemma, but Aylis collects dragons!  Another obstacle is the extent of the witch’s power.  For Aylis has stripped all the White Mages of their power and taken it for herself.  Once trapped by the witch, Martha is transformed into a rat (much to her dismay).  As a rat, she meets Chip, a brown rodent who is eager to lend a hand in the mission.  I loved this book because it was so funny.  A good example of this humor is the introduction.  Most books I read have a long and boring foreword saying, “I’d like to thank blah, blah, and blah for . . . .” But not this one.  Instead it has an introduction about weeping dinosaurs.  The body of the book is pure fun and fantasy, with dragons, talking rats, and manticores. 


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