The Rescuers, a fantasy by Margery Sharp is a delightful tale of adventure, daring, teamwork, and luck. It all begins when Madam Chairwoman of the Prisoner's Aid Society makes a daring proposal to send a mouse to the Black Castle, the darkest prison in the country, not to cheer up a prisoner but to rescue a Norwegian poet, who has been incarcerated there for some unknown reason. The first step in the plan is to secure the assistance of a Norwegian mouse who can speak with the prisoner in his own language. Bernard ventures to the bedroom of the ambassador's son to speak with the pampered Miss Bianca to request that she carry out this first step since she will be shortly traveling to Norway with her owner. After fainting, Miss Bianca agrees and once in Norway ,with a simple request, she secures the assistance of Nils, a rough and hardy Norwegian seafarer; however, she soon realizes that she cannot adequately give him directions, she decides to travel with him back to the Moot house which houses the Prisoner's Aid Society. Once there, the second part of the plan is set in motion. Nils, Bernard, and Miss Bianca slip onto the supply wagons en route to the Black Castle. Armed with resolve but lacking any semblance of a plan, they manage to reach the only mouse hole in the castle for shelter, but their greatest challenge still lies before them. They must still find the poet and devise a means to get him out of the castle and across the surrounding wasteland while avoiding the head jailer's fat but vicious cat.
I would heartily recommend this book for ages 6 and up as a read aloud. It has short chapters that are further divided into sections that would make it suitable for independent reading for a child reading at a Magic Tree House level that isn't quite ready for longer chapter books. It's a charming tale for all ages. I'm looking forward to reading it again in a few years with my youngest, who even at 4 has been listening to much of the story.