Mice at Centre Ice


124 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-17-602086-1





Reviewed by Jean Free

Jean Free is a past judge of the Vicky Metcalf and Ruth Schwartz awards
for children’s



Mice at Centre Ice is a contrived, predictable novel intended for grade 3/4 students; it is filled with clichés and well-worn events. Right from the MHL (would you believe Mouse Hockey League?) to the Cheddar Cup, the Rink Rats, and Benny the Bullet, the novel relies on expected, trite adventures.

Peppy la Pierre and Figaro the Flyer — mice that live at the Montreal Forum, where they play hockey after the regular games — decide to get the Cheddar Cup back from the Rink Rats. The remainder of the book consists of an unremarkable series of adventures, including stealing the Cheddar Cup on a skateboard; mice playing hockey with popsicle sticks; a trip to the garbage dump, where Benny meets the Big M (short for Big Mouse!); and, finally, the mice winning back the Cheddar Cup.

The book is riddled with stereotypes: one female mouse, Ann Marie, is a reporter (white, of course!) and Raphaela “artistically gnaws the champions’ names on the cup.” The Rink Rats “bash, slash, trip, pulverize” while the Mice have a players’ creed: a Mouse must be “a good loser, a team player, a good sport and never a quitter... all for the glory of the Team.” Characters include Figaro, who sings as he skates (“Toreador-a, This is how we score...”), Howie Squeaker, and a Russian import, Malenky, who defected during a Team Canada game.

Nelson Canada advertise their new series of novels as being for reluctant readers and having “exciting plots and contemporary flavours.” It is hoped that others in the series will be of a higher literary standard or our students will be cheated.


Salata, Estelle, “Mice at Centre Ice,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 23, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37566.