________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 2. . . .September 12, 2014


The Rat. (Disgusting Critters).

Elise Gravel.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover & ebook, $12.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77049-658-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77049-660-6 (ebook).

Subject Heading:
Rats-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Claire Perrin.

**** /4



The rat likes to live near humans so that she can help herself to our food and our GARBAGE.

(In speech balloon) “I’d like some more of those delicious electrical wires in tomato sauce.”


The latest addition to the “Disgusting Critters” series, The Rat explores another one of the animal kingdom’s least loved creatures. Full of interesting facts and funny cartoon drawings, The Rat makes rats seem a lot more likeable. Elise Gravel, author and illustrator, explains simple facts in a very entertaining fashion. From the purpose of the rat’s tail, to the way a rat has to file its own teeth by constantly chewing, information is given in a simple way, with a funny illustration to support the fact. The positive side of rats is made clear, too; rats are clever and can solve complicated problems. Gravel also explains why rats make good lab animals and help scientists conduct research.

internal art     One of the most appealing features of the book (and the series) is the way colour and font are used to draw attention to certain words on each page. Usually, it is the most disgusting words (GARBAGE, RUDE and DISEASES) that are featured in huge capital letters, practically jumping off the page.

      Gravel’s sense of humour really manifests itself in her illustrations. Rats are shown doing rat-like things in human ways. For example, rats are shown sitting at a table eating their dinner and doing homework. Speech balloons contain hilarious captions from the rats, from “BUUUUURP” to “Well, it’s not MY fault your toilets are way too big!”

     This brilliant mix of fun and facts is sure to appeal to boys and girls alike. The entire series is a must-have for animal lovers everywhere.

Highly Recommended.

Claire Perrin is an elementary teacher in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - September 12, 2014.

CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive