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Little Rat Rides Hardcover – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Series: Little Rat (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152046674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152046675
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,828,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-Inspired by a boyhood photo of her father on horseback, Little Rat decides to take up riding, but quickly discovers that new skills do not come easily. She must overcome her initial fear of her mount ("This was not a horse. This was a mountain on four legs"), but soon learns to appreciate Pee Wee's mild nature. Frustrated and frightened after suffering a fall, she is coaxed back into the saddle by her teacher. When Pee Wee accidentally steps on Little Rat's foot and it puffs up "like a blowfish," she takes it in stride and works hard to prepare for an upcoming horse show. Her newfound confidence comes in handy during an encounter with a bully who had been bothering her from the get-go. Finally, although the show isn't a perfect experience, Little Rat has a great day and looks forward to continuing her lessons. Presented in eight brief chapters, the simple text flows smoothly; the language is clear but never dull. Bang-Campbell skillfully captures a young child's perspective, honestly describing her heroine's ups and downs as she takes on a new challenge, and highlighting the self-assurance that comes with success. Done in pencil, gouache, and watercolor, the vibrant illustrations add detail to the narrative and reflect its emotional content. There is a lot of humor in the pictures, as the tiny rat interacts with her giant yellow horse, but also a lot of genuine affection.
Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. After conquering her fear of boating in Little Rat Sets Sail (2002), the plucky young rodent tackles horseback riding. Yearning to be a "fancy rider like her dad," Little Rat decides to take lessons, but her first experiences in the ring are rocky. She is afraid of her huge horse and of Chrissy, the menacing barnyard "bully goat." After bravely enduring a fall, an injury, and confrontations with Chrissy, Little Rat competes in her first horse show. Even though it doesn't turn out as she had hoped, she is proud of her accomplishments. Bang-Campbell, illustrator Molly Bang's daughter, tells a simple story about conquering fears in lively words and smooth language that's well paced for beginning chapter-book readers. Bang's charming, action-filled art includes oddly proportioned scenes of tiny Little Rat riding a huge horse--images that may reflect many children's view of a world in which they, too, are surrounded by people and things much larger than themselves. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Witty early chapter books for young readers. Sounds impossible, no? Not so. The much neglected and little appreciated early chapter book genre is too often filled up with garbage like "Dick and Jane" and "Care Bears" books. It takes real skill and resolve to find titles for this reading level that are halfway decent, let alone urbane. Enter the dizzying duo of Monika Bang-Campbell and Molly Bang. With Bang-Campbell's clever asides flittering about the book and Bang's delicate watercolors perfectly complimenting the action, "Little Rat Rides" is probably the best early chapter book written within my lifetime. I kid you not.

Little Rat has a dream. In her previous adventure, "Little Rat Sets Sail" it was to learn how to sail without giving into her fears. Now her fears stem from an entirely different source. Little Rat wants to learn how to ride a horse, just like her daddy once did. Wanting something and getting it turn out to be two entirely different matters, however, when our heroine comes face-to-face with the gentle "mountain on four legs" Pee Wee. Little Rat's newfound reluctance isn't helped by a malicious goat that sometimes gets in the horse's way, or the bumps, bruises, and accidents that befall our intrepid hero. The fact that Little Rat sticks with riding becomes an impressive act, and by the end she and Pee Wee have deservedly won fifth prize in the big Fourth of July Horse Show.

The story in and of itself doesn't sound like much, I'll grant you. And if a lesser author and a lesser illustrator were working on it, I'd probably recommend it to horsey fans and leave it at that. No, what's amazing here is what the author has done with the simplest of words. Scenes that are humorous are also almost dry in their delivery.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My pre-schooler was enchanted by the whole story and I find her retelling the story over and over again to her friends. It is a book always in her hands for me to read one more time.
My first grader is hesitant to read and not into horses, so she wouldn't have picked the book off the shelf. But when her little sister brought it home, she discovered that the book was very approachable. The writing was simple, the font was laid out with lots of white space and the illustrations were engaging. So with a litle bit of encouragement, she did read it herself and found that Little Rat was a pretty interesting character.
As a mom, I found Little Rat's story of trying something new to be positive and upbeat. The "lesson" was gently told and with humor--in a way that doesn't insult the reader. We got it out of the library first, but it was the kind of book you'd want in your child's library, so we ordered a copy of our own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We love the Little Rat series for our kids - both under 6. A well-told story chronicling the feelings and actions of a little rat who is challenged to move beyond her fears. This is a character that is easy for kids to relate to, and to cheer for. And there is some fun humor that surprisingly sticks with toddler/preschool aged kids.
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By Wyatt rasmussen on December 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, Daughter loves it. It was a great christmas present. Can't wait to get her more books in the future.
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