Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer

“Give me your buns and your biscuits! Give me your chocolate éclairs! For I am the Rat of the highway, and the Rat Thief never shares!”

You may have heard of a Highwayman – but what about a Highway Rat? No food is safe from this rascally rodent! He steals clover from a rabbit, and snaffles nuts from a squirrel. He even hijacks his own horse’s hay! But when a cunning duck crosses his path, has the Highway Rat met his match? Put your hands up for this rhyming romp from the current Children’s Laureate, starring a wickedly loveable baddie who’ll steal your grub – and your heart! This hilarious cautionary tale about greed and its comeuppance will enchant every reader.

I simply adore this picture book - wonderfully illustrated by Mr. Schaffer, everything about it is a bit tongue in cheek and charming.

I ended up reading it aloud to a friend of mine in Foyles, because it trips off the tongue and it is one of those picture books that just stays with you, no matter if you are far too old for them (like me).

Loosely based on the poem by Alfred Noyes, The Highway Rat comes riding riding riding and has no qualms robbing the other animals of their food and snacks, in fact, just about anything. There's a message here about gluttony and general mayhem, bit it's done so well and with such style that it doesn't strike me as preachey. In fact, it is fun, even when the rat gets his comeuppance near the end.

Highly recommended to confident young readers and older readers who like a bit of wicked rhyming. (Like me).

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