Happy Rat Catcher’s Day!
The Pied Piper retold by Eric Blair and illustrated by Ben Peterson (2005)
This is a retelling of the classic Grimm’s Brothers cautionary tale, The Pied Piper of Hamlin. When the small town of Hamlin is overrun by rats, the mayor agrees to pay the pied piper a king’s fortune to get rid of them. The piper plays a magical tune and leads all the rats to a bridge where he orders them all to jump into the river. Once the town is clear of rats, the piper returns for his payment. But the mayor refuses to pay. The next night the piper plays his magical tune and entrances all the children of the town to follow him into a secret mountain, and they are never seen again.
Pie Rats Ahoy! written and illustrated by Richard Scarry (2014)
The pirates (pie rats) take over Busytown. But Uncle Willy, the cat mayor, decides to take a voyage to a small island. He packs a cherry pie for lunch and sets sail. The mouse pirates board his boat while he’s taking his nap, throw him overboard, and make short work of his cherry pie. Poor Uncle Willy is stuck on the island with nothing but grass and shells and driftwood and a spiky palm. With that he makes a monster crocodile disguise to scare the pirates. The mice hide in the cabin of the boat and Uncle Willy locks the door so they can’t get out. Then he sails back home to Busytown where Officer Murphy led those greedy pie rats away (to jail). Hooray for Uncle Willy!
This non-fiction book is chock full of interesting facts and information about taking care of pet rats. The text is accompanied by photographs, charts, trivia, and definitions. There is also a glossary in the back of the book to help young readers learn new vocabulary. At 48 pages, this is a little longer than a standard picture book. However, it is invaluable for primary school research and just plain fun for lovers of unusual pets!