The Road to Ratenburg by Joy Cowley @geckopress : heaps of adventure for a family of rats in this great read-aloud novel

Posted: March 22, 2016 in Primary School
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The Road to Ratenburg

By Joy Cowley

Illustrated by Gavin Bishop

ISBN 9781776570751

Gecko Press

 

Road to Ratenburg cover high-res

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel all about a family of rats on their quest to find Ratenburg. After an explosion destroys their home Spinnaker Rat and his family are left with nothing. They make the difficult decision to search for Ratenburg, a little known but much talked about safe-haven for all rats. Their journey is dangerous and long.  They meet all sorts of danger head on. Cats, dogs, hawks, rat traps and many other hazards get in their way but the “humming beans” may just be the worst. And what are “humming beans” you ask. Well, I think you really do need to find a copy of this book to find out for yourself.

This is a sweet novel about facing your fears, taking risks and finding courage. Readers will love biting into each chapter as Spinnaker, his wife Retsina and the four ratlets face even more dangers. The humour and  banter between different family members makes this family so real.

The combination of Joy’s warm writing and Gavin’s wonderful illustrations bring the rat family to life and even if you don’t like rats,(like me) you will fall in love with these ones.

“In the moment before I drifted into sleep, I listened to our soft breathing, six rats, each a slightly different sound, but all in harmony and rhythm. I thought it was the most beautiful sound on earth.”

This is great for 8-10 year old readers but would be perfect for a teacher read-aloud too. Quality all the way.

 

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