Rats on the Roof and Other Stories

Rats on the Roof and Other Stories

3.85 (88 ratings by Goodreads)
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"In seven illustrated stories . . . this Caldecott Honor artist introduces an array of lively anthropomorphized animals in amusing predicaments."--Publishers Weekly Rats can't dance, right?

Wrong. Here are seven silly stories about some very unusual creatures. Meet a sheep who can't read (but thinks he can), an owl who outwits a brontosaurus, and a goose who thinks her wolf neighbors are canaries.

"Those just beginning to read chapter books should find that this is just the thing to tickle their funnybones."--School Library Journal
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Product details

  • Paperback | 79 pages
  • 127 x 197 x 6.1mm | 68g
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0140386467
  • 9780140386462
  • 454,823

Table of contents

Rats on the roof -- A sheepish tale -- The mouse who got married -- Eat your vegetables -- Swan song -- Ooh-la-la -- Miss Jones.
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About James Marshall

James Marshall was born in San Antonio, Texas, and grew up sixteen miles outside of the town on the family farm. His father, who worked for the railroad, had his own dance band in the thirties and appeared on the radio. His mother, also musical, sang in the church choir. So it wasn't surprising when Jim considered playing the viola for a career and received a scholarshipto attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. But during an airplane trip he was jerked out of his seat and injured his hand, and that was the end of his musical career.He returned to San AntonioCollege and later Trinity, where he studied French under Harry Allard, his future collaborator. After moving East, Jim graduated from Southern ConnecticutState University with a degree in history and French. The French major somehow wound up trying to teach Spanish in a Catholic school in Boston. Before long he was looking for a new profession.

On a fateful summer afternoon in 1971 James Marshall lay on his hammock drawing pictures. His mother was inside the house watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf on TV. The strident voices of the movie's protagonists, George and Martha, split the quiet air, and as the sketches began to take shape, history was made ... and James Marshall never had to look for another profession.

And so, with" tongue-in cheek" Jim Marshall began his career and became one of the most prolific and successful author/illustrators of children's books. He is best known for his series on the mischievous exploits of Fox, a debonair, lazy showoff; the uproarious adventures of the two Cut-Ups, Spud and Joe; George and Martha; and the misadventures of the Stupidfamily.

The Washington Post said in a recent review of his work, "There are few better writers and illustrators for children now than Marshall. Certainly there is no one else working today who more successfully captures the child's point of view than does the creator of George and Martha and the Stupids." The New York Times said about the Fox books: "The miracle of Mr.Marshall's work is that so often his stories are as profound as they are simple." He illustrated new versions of many children's classics, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears, for which he received a Caldecott Honor, Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, and Hansel and Gretel.

In an interview with Texas Monthly, Jim Marshall said about his work: "People have very oddideas of what a children's writer should be like. Children always expect me to look like a hippopotamus and adults assume that by nature I have to be a little off the wall."

James Marshall died in October of 1992. He divided his time between an apartment in the Chelsea district of New York and his home in Mansfield Hollow Connecticut.

copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
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Rating details

88 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 31% (27)
4 34% (30)
3 27% (24)
2 6% (5)
1 2% (2)

Our customer reviews

Reason for Reading: Ds read aloud to me for his reader. This is a fun collection of seven apparently previously unpublished short stories. Each features animal characters and is humorous in nature. Some are better than others but all give a chuckle and a grin. Neither of us found any of them extraordinary, but ds did enjoy figuring out the punch line and then anticipating the revelation that he'd been right all along. This book was deceptively much harder to read than it looked and ds needed much help with it. The stories included are: Rats on the Roof - Mr and Mrs Dog are continuously awoken each night by rats on their roof but when they try to hire a cat for help the rats end up getting the last word. The Sheepish Tale - Two sheep walk up a mountain posted with signs warning of the dangers of wolves. Neither can read but one pretends he can and guides them into danger by making up plausible things for the signs to say. This was funny. The Mouse Who Got Married - A mouse wedding is invaded by a cat and we learn the bride is more than expected. Eat Your Vegetables - A brontosaurus is eating the leaves on owl's tree and refuses to stop eating her home so she calls in her friends for help. This one is very short compared to the others. Swan Song - A fox is after a swan and he enlists the help of a cow in hiding by becoming her hat but he must prove to the fox how much smarter than he, he is and ends up being more of a silly goose. I thought this was cute! Ooh-La-La - A frog is very vain about his attractive legs mentioning them to everyone he meets until he learns via a French Poodle that some enjoy frog's legs for more than their beauty! Miss Jones - The longest story in the book and the one ds liked the most. Miss Jones, a goose, gets to know her new neighbours who profess to be canaries, but are in truth wolves. She's never actually seen them, only talked through the door and in the shadows. But when she gets invited for Christmas dinner she helps with the meal preparations and it isn't until she is at the table that she realizes she is to be the main course. But Miss Jones is too clever to end up being the Christmas goose, though!show more
by Nicola Mansfield
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