The Forgotten Map: Pie Rats Book 1

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"The Forgotten Map: Pie Rats Book 1 is a delight from start to finish.  A children’s book with an artist’s touch; it is a treasure worth seeking."


272 pages with black and white illustrations. ISBN:9780987461506

"The story begins when Wentworth, a young rat, is swept off his family’s boat during a cyclone. He awakens two days later on the good ship Apple Pie, whose crew consists of rats. Who like pies. In fact, it is a Pie Rat ship, manned by quirky brigands and constructed to look like a pie, with a pastry-crust bulwark and masts of giant cutlery. Renamed Whisker, the young survivor begins his Pie Rat apprenticeship, learning swordsmanship under the tutelage of fierce, green-eyed Ruby, and refining the outlaws’ artillery technique. (They shoot rancid pies at their enemies.) Alas, the vicious Cat Fish pirates soon appear, the first in a series of enemies the rats must face; and what with a secret map, a prison break, and Whisker’s inextinguishable hope that his family still survives, the resilient rodents are off on an exuberant adventure.

"This pie has all the right ingredients. The story is clever, and the action moves smoothly from one plot-propelling crisis to the next; the good guys are honorable, and the bad guys are really bad. Furthermore, the book is literally a work of art. The cover is textured and embossed, and the whimsical pictures are the perfect accompaniment to the text—not surprisingly, since Stelzer is also the illustrator. We see his touch throughout: the chapter headings are pirate flags emblazoned with a rodent’s face and a crossed knife and fork; and the asterisms are pies.

"PIE RATS is a clear expression of the author’s vision, flawlessly executed. Happily, it is the first in a series. This new adventure series is a real find."