Rat and Roach, Friends to the End

Rat and Roach, Friends to the End

by David Covell
     
 

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Friends. Enemies. And friends again!

This is a story of two friends. Rat and Roach.
They get along great!
Except when Rat makes a mess . . .
Or Roach cooks too fancy . . .
Or Rat HUGS TOO TIGHT!!
In fact, why are these two friends? Rat and Roach aren't so sure either, but they're more unhappy when they aren't friends. Here is a book

Overview

Friends. Enemies. And friends again!

This is a story of two friends. Rat and Roach.
They get along great!
Except when Rat makes a mess . . .
Or Roach cooks too fancy . . .
Or Rat HUGS TOO TIGHT!!
In fact, why are these two friends? Rat and Roach aren't so sure either, but they're more unhappy when they aren't friends. Here is a book that shows friendship in a whole new, wonderful, hilarious light.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Covell's engaging text addresses the reader directly, wondering openly what will happen next; and it works in able counterpoint to the bold, simple illustrations…[he] draws his Rat and Roach halfway between adorable and creepy…His pictures are simple but not sweet; to me, in fact, they're aesthetically disturbing. I like Rat and Roach, Friends to the End exactly because I find it unusually ugly—and wonderfully appropriately so.
—Paul O. Zelinsky
Publishers Weekly
Covell introduces a classic New York City odd couple in his debut picture book. Sloppy Rat, round-bellied in a rumpled gray flannel shirt, and neatnik Roach, slim in a pinstriped vest, live together “under Avenue A.” The urbanites share interests: garbage-man Rat plays drums, and food critic Roach wants to squeak lead vocals in a band. Yet they loudly disagree over decorating and dining. “Why do they shout? Is it because.... Rat makes a mess and Roach makes things too pretty? Or Rat has bad manners when Roach cooks too fancy?” Grammarians will wince at Covell’s jerky transitions and laissez-faire attitude toward syntax, and this hit-or-miss quality marks the art, too. Covell pictures Rat and Roach in squiggles of black marker and spritzes of black, neon green, and hot pink spray paint; his imagery suggests graffiti tags and stencils, and Rat calls Banksy to mind. For all its improv surface and gross-out vermin, though, this is a benign narrative. If the subtitle suggests traps and poison, no (external) threats emerge to threaten the protagonists, who seal their friendship over a smelly heap of tuna. Ages 3–6. (June)
From the Publisher
Praise for Rat and Roach Friends to the End by David Covell:

“Engaging text [and] bold illustrations...Rat and Roach [is] unusually ugly—and wonderfully appropriately so.” —New York Times Book Review

"In the fine tradition of A. M. Monson's Wanted: Best Friend (Dial, 1997) or Carolyn Crimi's Don't Need Friends (Doubleday, 1999) ... Covell tells this familiar story with unusual visual and verbal humor and a delightfully caustic lack of sentimentality. His artwork—pictures, font, layout, down to the most minute detail—is well worth a bunch of perusals." —School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 2—The yuck factor alone should make this picture book a hit with youngsters. Rat is paunchy, sloppy, smelly, loud, and rude—in short, a character kids will follow eagerly, if only to witness his comeuppance. Roach, on the other hand, loves to decorate, dress nattily—occasionally in pink bunny slippers—and cook fancy foods. (His perplexed pink octopus on a platter is hilarious.) Best friends like these are bound to have the occasional scrap, but the tension is ratcheting up. Rat calls Roach, "Toothpick, Crabby Head, FLEA!" Roach returns with "Hair Ball, Tuna Breath, MOUSE!" And then they stop talking altogether. Facing the loss of a friend is reason to ponder, even for a raucous rodent or crawly insect. In the fine tradition of A. M. Monson's Wanted: Best Friend (Dial, 1997) or Carolyn Crimi's Don't Need Friends (Doubleday, 1999), Rat and Roach gradually conclude that they're better off together. Covell tells this familiar story with unusual visual and verbal humor and a delightfully caustic lack of sentimentality. His artwork—pictures, font, layout, down to the most minute detail—is well worth a bunch of perusals.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Best friends don't always get along is the well-worn lesson of this tale of philosophically opposed urban pests. Rat and Roach are buds, but they can certainly get on each other's nerves. While casual Rat enjoys swimming through crud, making a mess and farting, the surprisingly meticulous Roach prefers tidiness, flower scents and (in the case of his cooking) originality. So can these two friends make up after a big fight? Readers won't spend a whole lot of time wondering, since the fight feels fairly arbitrary--if readers can spot it at all. The narrative opens with a lengthy, present-tense description of the friends' differences, then shifts to the past tense with what seems to be the aftermath of a specific but unseen argument, making it feel like a tension-free gag rather than a story. Covell's talents lie in his art, his book filled to brimming with spray-paint drips, clouds of noxious fumes and humorous details; the image of the two grumpy friends brushing their teeth in parallel is laugh-out-loud funny. But without a story, the illustrations, which are mostly displayed against a pure-white or light-gray background, aren't enough to raise the book from merely okay to new and interesting. In the end, there are plenty of odd-couple picture books already available. Consider this only for a readership ravenous for city-critter fiction. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101643105
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
07/05/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
File size:
12 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for Rat and Roach Friends to the End by David Covell:

“Engaging text [and] bold illustrations...Rat and Roach [is] unusually ugly—and wonderfully appropriately so.” —New York Times Book Review

"In the fine tradition of A. M. Monson's Wanted: Best Friend (Dial, 1997) or Carolyn Crimi's Don't Need Friends (Doubleday, 1999) ... Covell tells this familiar story with unusual visual and verbal humor and a delightfully caustic lack of sentimentality. His artwork—pictures, font, layout, down to the most minute detail—is well worth a bunch of perusals." —School Library Journal

Meet the Author

David Covell grew up in Maine, worked in Vermont, and moved to New York. He's not quite Rat, and not quite Roach, but he's known them both. He lives in New York City.

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