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The Highway Ratby Julia Donaldson
Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling creators of THE GRUFFALO, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Quick! Hide all your goodies! The Highway Rat's coming, and he's going to steal your snacks...
He takes clover from a rabbit, nuts from a squirrel — he even steals his own horse's hay! Can no one stop him?
The creators of STICK MAN and A GOLD STAR FOR ZOG stand and deliver this fabulous new story of a wickedly loveable villain who gets his just deserts.
"The team behind The Gruffalo and other titles returns with a tale of a rodent highwayman whose 'manners were rough and rude,' stealing food from those he meets on the road. Things look dark for this animal kingdom until a clever duck — who is also an impressive equestrienne — uses the Highway Rat's gluttony against him. Scheffler's drawings always offer plenty of pleasures: his bold ink lines and glowing colors give these pages a comic intensity, and his characters' round, bright eyes exude a geeky earnestness. But this story feels like a missed opportunity. The Highway Rat always demands sweets and junk food from his hardworking, peasant-class victims ('Give me your pastries and puddings!/ Give me your chocolate and cake!'), only to receive the rather bland stuff that makes up their subsistence diets (clover from a rabbit, leaves from the ants, flies from a spider). Rather than make comedic hay of this incongruity, Donaldson and Scheffler seem chiefly interested in portraying the ho-hum selfishness of their protagonist and meting out a humdrum punishment: 'And they say he still works in the cake shop,/ sweeping the cake shop floor.' Ages 4 — 8. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Julia Donaldson is currently being honored as the UK Children's Laureate, and has written many bestselling picture books and novels for young readers. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with her husband, Malcolm.
Axel Scheffler's award-winning books include ROOM ON THE BROOM, THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE, and THE GRUFFALO. His illustrations have been published in more than thirty countries. He lives in London, England.
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Children's » Animals » Animal Stories » General