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Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes
     

Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes

2.0 3
by Margaret Atwood, Dusan Petricic (Illustrator)
 

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In Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, bestselling author Margaret Atwood offers a delightfully ridiculous tale about the virtues of resisting restrictions. With tongue-twisting phrases heavily peppered with words beginning with R, the story follows Ramsay as he travels with his friend Ralph, the red-nosed rat, from his home full of revolting relatives to a field

Overview

In Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, bestselling author Margaret Atwood offers a delightfully ridiculous tale about the virtues of resisting restrictions. With tongue-twisting phrases heavily peppered with words beginning with R, the story follows Ramsay as he travels with his friend Ralph, the red-nosed rat, from his home full of revolting relatives to a field of roaring radishes. There he meets a girl named Rillah, who needs a bit of adventure herself. Atwood's rollicking text is accompanied by devilish and Dušan Petricic's insightful illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Like Atwood's Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, this silly picture book revels in alliteration and understated humor. The plot is uncomplicated: when Rude Ramsay ventures out of his "ramshackle rectangular residence" to the resplendent realm full of radishes where Rillah lives, he finds a new friend. Despite Petricic's (Bagels from Benny) portrayal of Ramsay, with his protruding teeth and Sideshow Bob hair, the boy comes across as a surprisingly likable, rat-faced hero. Unfortunately, Atwood's loquacious narration and repetition of R's wears thin (even the words "Roman-vaulted" and "rigor mortis" work their way into the story). The menu of "roach-riddled rice and the rancid raisins and the remnants of reeking rhinoceros [and] rotten reindeer rinds" repeats until readers are likely to feel overstuffed with rococo remarks. On the other hand, when the author integrates the relentless R's next to ordinary prose, the alliteration serves to highlight droll dialogue. When the new friends escape from Ramsay's wretched residence, Rillah trills, "You may be rude, but you can run with a rapidity that erases boredom!" Understanding the story's humor sometimes requires knowledge of popular culture (the radishes turn out to be robot replicas in need of reprogramming) and a vocabulary beyond the ken of the picture-book crowd ("My relatives," says Rillah, "although outwardly respectable and refulgently attired, are lacking in rectitude"). Petricic's pen-and-ink illustrations incorporate R's throughout on buttons, embroidered collars and doorways. For fans of the letter R, this is a rampant, if sometimes ridiculous, romp. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Rude Ramsay's rollicking adventures with his friend Ralph, the red-nosed rat, begin when they leave his revolting relatives behind. To tell his tale, deft writer Atwood relies on an incredible vocabulary of words beginning with "r," from Ramsay's "ramshackle rectangular residence with a roof garden, a root cellar, and a revolving door" to the happy ending where they "romped rapturously among the roses, beside the rippling river, under the radiant rainbow." Risking the rat-hole, the hungry pair are attacked on the other side by the radishes as they feast on the goodies there. When they meet Rillah, who is bored and seeking a real rumpus, they join forces to find happiness together. Ink and watercolor double-page scenes create characters with personalities, some only mentioned in the text. But Ramsay, Ralph, and Rillah stand out, charged with energy and youthful enthusiasm. They thrive on the masses of effluvia hurled at them as they plot their defense in the rectory's rainbow enhanced rotunda, emerging to new adventures on the radiant side of the rampart. Just reading aloud brings guffaws, while vocabulary is being vastly enriched. 2003, Bloomsbury Children's Books, Ages 5 to 9.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-"Rude Ramsay resided in a ramshackle rectangular residence with a roof garden, a root cellar, and a revolving door." So begins this nonsensical, alliterative romp. The renowned Canadian writer's command of wordplay is impressive, and unfamiliar words (rhapsodic, rigor mortis, rubicund) may afford youngsters an opportunity for vocabulary enrichment. Nevertheless, the conceit totally overwhelms the strained and far-fetched plot involving Rude Ramsay (who isn't really rude) running away with a rat and encountering a field of rabid radishes and a rich girl named Rillah. Subtly toned, sophisticated illustrations mirror the frenetic pace of the slightly unpleasant text, though some spreads, notably the scene of the rabid radishes, exhibit a clever and humorous design. Overall, however, consider this a rather wretched effort.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In her second alliterative adventure for children, Canadian writer Atwood focuses on words beginning with the letter R, reeling off strings of adjectives and actions in a rollicking tale of a red-headed boy named Ramsey and his red-nosed rat pal, Ralph. They're tired of the food in their "ramshackle rectangular residence," so they strike out for better grub and greener pastures elsewhere, eventually taking up residence with their new friend, a red-robed girl named Rillah. She lives in the "romantic, recently restored rectory with the rotunda." Rillah learns that Ramsey isn't so rude after all, especially when he has a nice place to live with good food and real friends for companionship. In lesser hands, such an extended use of alliteration might prove redundant, but Atwood's prose is both amusing and enlightening in its use of rich vocabulary, with phrases such as "rumpled rucksack," "raggedy ravens" and "rancid remnants of reeking rhinoceros." Edgy watercolor illustrations use a subdued palette of green, lavender, and red with a radiant rainbow to celebrate the happy ending. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780747572954
Publisher:
Gardners Books
Publication date:
10/16/2006
Edition description:
BOOK & CD

Meet the Author

Margaret Atwood is best known as the author of more than thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including her latest novel, Oryx and Crake. Her previous novel, The Blind Assassin, won the Booker Prize. She has written four other children's books: Anna's Pet (with Joyce Barkhouse), Up in the Tree, For the Birds, and Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut. She lives in Toronto.

Dušan Petricic is the award-winning illustrator of more than twenty books for children. A former professor of illustration and book design, Petricic's work has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, and The Toronto Star. He lives in Toronto.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Toronto, Ontario
Date of Birth:
November 18, 1939
Place of Birth:
Ottawa, Ontario
Education:
B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967
Website:
http://www.owtoad.com

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Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood certainly needs to introduction to readers - young or old. In addition to her bestsellers, the latest being Oryx and Crake, she has penned four other children's books. This time out she has more fun than most can imagine with the letter R. There was a fellow named Rude Ramsay who 'resided in a ramshackle rectangular residence with a roof garden, a root-cellar, and a revolving door.' He had a passel of revolting relatives named Ron, Rollo, and Ruby. Ramsay did have one friend, 'Ralph the red-nosed rat.' When living with his kin became too much for Ramsay, Ralph suggested he move on, so he followed Ralph to a field of raspberry bushes and radishes. However, Rillah, the owner of the radish field doesn't take too kindly to Ramsay pilfering her radishes. She's a pretty miss who once was wealthy but is now down on hr luck. As in all good stories, there's a happy ending here for Ramsay, Ralph, and Rillah. Dusan Petricic's outrageously funny illustrations are a joy to behold. Just try reading this without bursting into laughter. - Gail Cooke