Rotten Ralph Helps Out (Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers Series)

( 1 )

Overview

Sarah needs a topic for her school project on ancient Egypt. Her rotten red cat, Ralph, thinks history is a bore. Only after he spoils a research trip to the library does Ralph decide to help. According to Sarah, the ancient Egyptians believed cats were wise and had special powers. And Rotten Ralph knows he can prove them right!

This antic adventure is the first Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader, a rambunctious new series for beginning readers.

Jack ...

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Overview

Sarah needs a topic for her school project on ancient Egypt. Her rotten red cat, Ralph, thinks history is a bore. Only after he spoils a research trip to the library does Ralph decide to help. According to Sarah, the ancient Egyptians believed cats were wise and had special powers. And Rotten Ralph knows he can prove them right!

This antic adventure is the first Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader, a rambunctious new series for beginning readers.

Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel have since 1978 created more than a dozen books about Rotten Ralph. Mr. Gantos lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and Ms. Rubel lives in Aurora, Oregon.

Sarah's cat Rotten Ralph tries to help her create a school project based on ancient Egypt, but he is more of a hindrance than a help.

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Editorial Reviews

Marc Brown
Rotten Ralph is one cat who can make reading fun for kids. And he does!
Children's Literature
Readers will absorb a fair amount of information about ancient Egypt as they follow Sarah's research for a school project. Rude and rough Ralph is not impressed with Sarah's Egyptian study and makes sardonic comments to himself throughout the story. He makes a pyramid of books in the library and draws tomb art on the walls just to annoy the librarian and spoil Sarah's fun. But worse, he tries to apologize by helping Sarah with her projects and makes his usual mess. All is patched up, however, when Ralph makes himself up as the Sphinx and goes to school as Sarah's project. While Ralph never addresses Sarah directly, she seems to understands him enough to read his mind. On the last page, Ralph thinks, "I love candy" and Sarah answers, "I know you do"—perhaps a new depth for this friendship? This volume introduces a new series, one packaged in easy chapter book format rather than as a picture storybook format. Same cat, though, with the same semi-bad attitude, the same long-suffering friend and owner, and the same warm outcome. 2001, Farrar Straus and Giroux, $14.00. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Jack Gantos's Rotten Ralph beginning reader (Farrar, 2001) offers a humorous exploration of how to become an Egyptian, summarized into four chapters: "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Read Like an Egyptian," "Shake Like an Egyptian" and "Look Like an Egyptian." Listeners learn about the lifestyles and customs of Ancient Egypt when Ralph, the adventurous feline, wants to help Sarah, his owner, with her class project. Sarah and Ralph go to the library to work on the project but, as usual, Ralph gets into trouble. In the end, Ralph lives up to his reputation of a "wise cat" and helps Sarah with her project by dressing up as the Sphinx to save the day. Background noises such as pouring kitty litter, flipping pancakes, and running water enhance the audio experience and draw listeners into the setting. Gantos's expressive narration brings Rotten Ralph's emotions to life. Although Ralph never utters a single word, the audience will laugh at his pranks and relate to his fallibility and persistence. One audio track has page-turn signals, and the other is straight narration. Listeners will enjoy the story's humor and Nicole Rubel's colorful illustrations.-Ann Crewdson, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rotten Ralph's bouncy, semi-bad behavior and amusing antics have been delighting children for years in the long-running series from the versatile Gantos (Joey Pigza Loses Control, 2000, etc.). Now the irrepressible Ralph has moved on to "Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers" in this upper-level easy reader with an Egyptian theme that will dovetail nicely into first- and second-grade classrooms studying ancient Egypt. Ralph's owner, the ever-cheerful Sarah, shares all the interesting facts she's learned in the class Egyptian unit, and Ralph tries to help her with her library research and her individual class project, causing his familiar brand of minor troubles at every turn. (He does at least attempt to be helpful in this story, rather than rotten as in some of his previous capers.) Rubel's flat, stylized illustrations in full color are a natural complement to the Egyptian style of art, and she adds a good deal of additional information on ancient Egyptian culture through her illustrations. The text is set in large type with plenty of white space, and the story is divided into four simple chapters. Although this will function well as an amusing and educational easy reader, it contains enough facts and illustrations about ancient Egypt to serve as the corner stone for a classroom thematic unit-all that and rascally red Rotten Ralph, too. (Easy reader. 6-8)
From the Publisher
“Fans of Gantos’s irrepressible Ralph who are ready to graduate from picture books will eagerly leap into this early chapter book, the first installment of the Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader series.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Rotten Ralph’s bouncy, semi-bad behavior and amusing antics have been delighting children for years in the long-running series. . . . Now the irrepressible Ralph has moved on to ‘Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers’ in this upper-level easy reader with an Egyptian theme. . . . Rubel’s flat, stylized illustrations in full color are a natural complement to the Egyptian style of art, and she adds a good deal of additional information on ancient Egyptian culture through her illustrations.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“The text’s short sentences and dialogue are basic enough for new readers while imparting plenty of interesting facts about the Egyptians.”—Booklist

“Rotten Ralph is one cat who can make reading fun for kids. And he does!”—Marc Brown

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374463557
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 983,394
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

JACK GANTOS has written many other Rotten Ralph stories as well as the Joey Pigza series. His latest novel is Dead End in Norvelt. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. jackgantos.com

NICOLE RUBEL co–creator of the Rotten Ralph character, has illustrated more than fifty books for children. She lives in Aurora, Oregon. nicolerubel.com

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