Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oh, Rats!

Narrin, Albert. 2006. Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People. Ill. by C.B. Mordan. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0525477624

Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People is the history of rats and their relationship with people.  From the rats giant beginnings roaming the earth with dinosaurs to it's current incarnation as a domesticated pet and laboratory test subject, Narrin tells the fascinating story of the rat and the people they live with. 
Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People provides a great deal of information in 9 short chapters.  Narrin provides information that is both scientific as well as cultural in nature.  The rat is examined for physical characteristics, intelligence, cunning, emotions, and taste.  Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the rat and it's involvement with people.  Blocked side notes provide additional information of interest and are highlighted by a bold red background.

The author includes a bibliography from which he drew his information.  Also included are a list of related rat texts that may be of interest to young readers.

Complementing the information provided by Narrin are illustrations by C.B. Mordan.  Each illustration is done with the use of only black, white, and red.  The lines in each drawing are deliberate and stark and are reminiscent of old newsprint. 

Emphasizing the animal's capabilities for survival, Marrin offers both anecdotal accounts of human/rat encounters and impressive statistics. - Starred review, School Library Journal

This book makes a pleasantly icky additional purchase. - Starred review, Booklist

Author suggestions:
Conniff, Richard. 2002. Rats! The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. New York: Crown.
Legg, Gerald, et al. 2003. Rats (Scary Creatures). New York: Franklin Watts.

Read the poem Rat for Lunch by Jack Prelutsky
Explore a work of fiction that features rats such as Mrs. Frisby and the Rats on NIMH by O'Brien or A Rat's Tale by Seidler.

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