Bat and Rat

Overview

Bat and Rat are two best friends living in the big city. Together these nocturnal pals enjoy their favorite things, like riding the subway, dumpster diving in Chinatown, writing songs, and playing in a band. One hot summer night, while tasting their favorite flavors of ice cream, like mosquito ripple, they find the inspiration for the perfect new tune—for they realize their favorite favorite is each other.
Written in a gentle, sweet style reminiscent of Arnold Lobel and Patrick ...

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Overview

Bat and Rat are two best friends living in the big city. Together these nocturnal pals enjoy their favorite things, like riding the subway, dumpster diving in Chinatown, writing songs, and playing in a band. One hot summer night, while tasting their favorite flavors of ice cream, like mosquito ripple, they find the inspiration for the perfect new tune—for they realize their favorite favorite is each other.
Written in a gentle, sweet style reminiscent of Arnold Lobel and Patrick McDonnell and with charming illustrations, Bat and Rat captures the tenderness of classic picture books with a hip, modern twist.

Praise for Bat and Rat

“Cordell’s starry cityscapes combine with Jennings’ gentle text for an agreeable read-aloud—with a cherry on top.”

Kirkus Reviews

"The clever artwork perfectly complements Jennings's sharp, funny wordplay. Children will delight in this charming story."
School Library Journal

"Cordell’s images of jazzy patrons at the Twelve O’Clock Room add interest, while his consistent use of spotlights, streetlights, circular images, and stage lights accentuate and complement Jennings’ focused attention on a unique and caring relationship."
Library Media Connection


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bat and Rat are best friends and a musical duo: Bat is the composer/musician and Rat is the lyricist/singer. Stuck on a song, they head to an ice cream shop, where a tragic accident (Rat is somewhat responsible for the demise of Bat’s tower of ice cream scoops) and subsequent flareup inspire a new song that celebrates their friendship. Jennings (Lucky Cap) and Cordell (Another Brother) try to put a new twist on a familiar friendship-under-pressure story, and it’s refreshing to have a children’s book take place in a nocturnal, decidedly cosmopolitan hipster world. But their storytelling never gains traction. Very little is made of the urban nighttime setting, readers get no sense of Bat and Rat’s creative process or collaboration, and yet two whole spreads are devoted to how they traverse the floors of their apartment building to meet in the lobby. Perhaps most disappointing, the much anticipated song, “Favorite Favorite,” is a hodgepodge of silly rhymes (“My favorite cheese is runny and smelly./ My favorite noodle is vermicelli”) and repetition. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Best friends Rat and Bat live in the Hotel Midnight and make music together. The rodent's apartment is in the basement, and her flying friend's is in the attic. Between jam sessions and gigs, they spend their time eating ice cream (Gorgonzola Swirl, Mint Fly Chip) and searching for inspiration in a city that resembles New York. When Rat buys Bat a seven-scoop cone that mostly falls onto the pavement, a new song is born. This book's lesson—that we can create beauty from disappointments in life—is an uplifting one. Pencil and watercolor illustrations convey the sense of excitement in a nighttime cityscape with lush, glittery midnight-blue skies. The whimsical drawings are inventive, sometimes spanning two pages to show the dizzying height of buildings. Children will enjoy lingering over a cutaway view of four stories of the hotel. The clever artwork perfectly complements Jennings's sharp, funny wordplay ("My favorite singer? Rat King Cole"). Children will delight in this charming story about a musical duo searching for beauty in the most mundane moments. In this exuberant, effortless book, art is a powerful, redemptive force—even if it is created by a bat and rat.—Jess deCourcy Hinds, Bard H.S. Early College, Queens, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A sweet friendship story hums with jazz and is heaped with ice cream. Bat and Rat have a lot going on. Denizens of the uptown Hotel Midnight, Bat lives on the 33rd floor and Rat in the basement. Bat composes and plays piano in their jazz duo, while Rat writes the lyrics and sings. She's stymied with the words for their new tune, so the pair meets for ice cream. Cordell's amusing watercolors depict a William Steig–esque menagerie at the ice cream parlor. A frog's long tongue licks a cone held at arm's length, and a weasel-like worker labors mightily on Bat's towering, seven-scoop treat. Jennings' often-charming dialogue reveals the two friends' characteristics: "Rat, can you hold my cone so I can fly up and lick my top scoop?" Alas, a skateboarding hare and zooming bus topple and flatten six of Bat's scoops. Amid the flare of emotion over the spill (Bat chastises Rat, then apologizes), Rat finds the creative key to the song's lyrics: She has many favorite things, but her "favorite favorite is Bat." Concluding spreads depicting enthusiastic fans of many species at the hotel's rooftop Twelve O'Clock Room and retrospective scenes of the friends' good times are paired with the little song's affirming lyrics. Cordell's starry cityscapes combine with Jennings' gentle text for an agreeable read-aloud--with a cherry on top. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419701603
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 936,033
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Jennings is the author of the critically acclaimed middle-grade novels We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes and Guinea Dog. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington. Matthew Cordell is the illustrator of Trouble Gum and Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie. He lives in Gurnee, Illinois.

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