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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh, Rats: The Story of Rats and People by Albert Marrin

Oh, Rats!
Oh, rats! We're talking rats - the real rats. You name it: ship rats, sewer rats, roof rats, brown rats, black rats, gray rats, water rats. This is not just a book about rats, it is also about humans and how they have interacted with the rats. Science, history, literature, culture, and folklore are included. It is the survival aspect with which Alfred Marrin weaves his facts. If the atomic bomb won't kill, they are here to stay.

The factoids in "Oh, Rats! are intriguing and will not be soon forgotten. Despite the many different types of rats, there are only two main types. Norwegian rat is one group and the other is the black rat with smaller size. What was Queen Christine of Sweden thinking in the 1600's? She declared war on rats and ordered them shot with four-inch-long cannons. A problem with rats is their gestation period. It is possible for a pair of rats to have 359 million descendants in only three years. There are at least two times when tails are discussed; fishing is one of them. You won't want to miss the blind rat being assisted by another rat.

Believe it or not, it is C. B. Mordan who did the illustrations. Yes, that is the same illustrator who did Silent Movie for Avi. Eight to ten year old readers will enjoy this the most. Consider not reading it in its entirety at one time in order to take in all that the book has to offer. How fantastic is it that a non-fiction book is nominated for the Rebecca Caudill 2009 Award?!?

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