Rats on the Roof: And Other Storiesby James Marshall
An illustrated collection of seven stories about various animals, including a frog with magnificent legs, a hungry brontosaurus, and a mouse who gets married.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn seven illustrated stories of varying size and levels of sophistication, this Caldecott Honor artist introduces an array of lively anthropomorphized animals in amusing predicaments. Otis and Sophie Dog cannot sleep because of the cavorting rats that dance on the roof of their house. When the couple advertises for a cat to oust the intruders, a pompous, nattily dressed tomcat with some outrageous demands applies for the job. Other tales deal with a wolf who goes to great lengths to ensnare two unsuspecting sheep; a conniving cat tossed out on his ear after crashing a mouse wedding; and a vain frog who abruptly ceases to brag about his ``magnificent legs'' when he reads a recipe that calls for sauteed frogs' legs. As always, Marshall charges his text and pictures with a zany humor that will bewitch adults and children alike. Ages 6-10. ( June )
Children's Literature - Mary QuattlebaumAs young readers become more skilled, they can turn happily to Marshall's chapter books. In this story, a vain frog, two dogs, plagued at night by dancing rats, and a mouse thankful for his heroic bride are but a few of the characters which are sure to tickle the fancy of young and old alike.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 2-4-- This collection of seven silly stories is written for slightly older readers than Marshall's usual fare, but his high-spirited wackiness is recognizable. Each concerns the foibles of animals and their various ways of outwitting each other. In the title story, Otis and Sophie Dog have had a sleepless night filled with ``the sound of little dancing feet and shrill musical instruments,'' and decide they need a cat. In the end, though, the rats leave the roof for reasons other than the Dogs or readers expect. In other tales, sheep escape the wolf in spite of their stupidity; a mouse bride frightens an intrusive cat; an owl deters an tree-chomping brontosaurus; a swan is rescued from a fox despite her bad judgment; a frog loudly admires his own legs until he discovers they can be sauteed; and a goose unwittingly befriends new wolf neighbors. The black-and-white illustrations are in perfect tune with the spirit of the tellings. Those just beginning to read chapter books should find that this is just the thing to tickle their funnybones. --Carolyn Jenks, Oyster River Elementary School, Durham, NH
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