|Image from TheVirginiaLibraryProject.Blogspot.com|
This is the story of a rat who longs to be a pet and have a real name, instead of “That Pesky Rat.” He has many friends who are pets and although each one points out the pitfalls of being a pet (weekly baths, embarrassing sweaters), the rat is still determined to be a pet. At the pet store he puts up an ad in the window. The rat’s dreams are fulfilled when old (and very blind) Mr. Fortesque adopts him as a pet and gives him a name. So what if Mr. Fortesque thinks he’s a cat and names him Tiddles?
The illustrations are done in Child’s signature collage style, with lots of bold colors and prints. The text is humorous and written from the rat’s perspective. The words zig and zag all over the pages, adding another exciting element to the book.
After you read the book ask the kids about their pets. If they could have any pet in the world, what would it be?
Since the story it told from the rat’s point of view it can be considered an autobiography of sorts. Have the kids write their own autobiographies. Start off by pasting a photo of the child on the first page with the text: “This is me. I’m the one with the _____ and _____. I live in _____.” Then have the kids write and illustrate pages on other aspects of their life, such as family, pets, hobbies, etc. This activity can be extended quite a bit depending on your time limit. You can children include a list of their favorites (favorite food, favorite color, etc.).
The cityscapes in this book are very distinctive and creative. Try recreating your own with this cityscape art project posted by on the Fairy Dust Teaching blog.