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Rotten Ralph Paperback – February 19, 1980


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 580L (What's this?)
  • Series: Rotten Ralph (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (February 19, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395292026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395292020
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rotten Ralph . . . is irresistible." Publishers Weekly

"Fans won't be disappointed by the outcome of Gantos' new Rotten Ralph adventure. It not only sparkles with the usual Ralph pranks, but also gives the feisty feline a little payback of sorts for a change." Booklist, ALA

About the Author

NICOLE RUBEL has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including the Rotten Ralph series by Jack Gantos, which has been in print for more than twenty years. She lives in Oregon.

Customer Reviews

The pictures are very interesting to children, hilarious to adults.
Marretta K. Henretig
My daughter's copy is signed by Johnny Rotten, the inside jacket adorned with a Polaroid photo taken of herself, her new book, and the kindest punk rock star on earth.
A. Casalino
Yeah, Ralph's behavior is really rotten, but Sarah loves him anyway.
abt1950

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A. Casalino VINE VOICE on December 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ralph is a very bad kitty, as is generally what cats thrive on being. He is often rude, knocks things over, disrupts social occasions, makes sport of preying on pet birds, fish or rodents, and purposely exacerbates the one annoying, albeit universally inherent, trait in dogs: obnoxiousness. After one especially horrid, feline-induced fiasco at the circus, Sarah's father determines that he's had enough of Ralph and gives him the boot. Ralph's consequential homeless journey thus necessitates him a good look inwardly, seeking the key to whatever could possibly save him from being lost forever to his comfortable home and family...
Not so very many years ago, I had the very great pleasure of reading over and over and over, and over immeasurable, this fine tale of haphazardness, naughtiness, chastisement, and redemption. So I'll now tell you a little tale of my own - a personal pathway, of sorts, toward eminent endearment of this sweet little book:
Several years ago, a little child went with her mother and father to a book signing in downtown Chicago. The name of the book escapes me now, but alas, it's irrelevant to this story. John Lydon ("Johnny Rotten" of Sex Pistols fame) was doing the signing for some newly published writing affair at a trendy north side bookstore. As Mr. Rotten has always had a great dedicated following, the line for this book, to be graced with his signature, was immensely long. The little girl, wearing a pink winter coat and purple ribbons in her hair, was the only child present in a snaking line omnipresent in the aisles throughout with multiply tattooed and body-pierced fans. Yet she was neither intimidated nor gainsaid as she quietly recited her favorite nursery rhymes, picking up to browse each prettily covered book she saw.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By abt1950 on July 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Of all the books that I read to my son when he was young, "Rotten Ralph" was one of my--and his--favorites. The artwork is incredible--very kinetic and colorful, a combination of Keith Haring and Outsider Art. The story is written with great wit, and one can sympahize with the poor heroine trying to get her unruly cat to behave--kind of like she's the parent and Ralph's the child. Yeah, Ralph's behavior is really rotten, but Sarah loves him anyway. Sound familiar? Like Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," "Rotten Ralph" project a child's fears to an imaginary realm where they can be dealt with safely. It's a great piece of children's literature.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "fleajuice" on April 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rotten Ralph is Sarah's bad, bad cat, and she loves him. Her parents tolerate him...until the unforgivable. Ralph ends up on his own, cold, lonely and miserable, and regretting his evil ways. Most of the time.
Extreme, crazy, and a little more than rotten sometimes. The drawings aren't traditional, which makes "Rotten Ralph" even more fun for kids to read and look at.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie32 on September 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
My 2-year-old can't get enough of this book! The illustrations are creative, unique and keep his attention. Rotten Ralph is a lovable character even with his mischievous ways. This book reinforces to children that even if they misbehave and have to go to time-out, they are still loved and important. We've enjoyed all the other Rotten Ralph titles as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jess WM on December 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know - the reviews on this book's back make it sound so focused on love and unconditional support, but I still read this thing and think it's a horror story. I don't mind since our kid is less than a year old and my husband grew up on it, but wouldn't keep it on the shelf after a certain age. The cat first, does horrible things to his owner Sarah, like really mean, mean stuff, then he winds up getting abandoned by the family at the zoo, where he's kept in a cage, and starves till he is skinny enough to escape through the bars... then he finds a city, and lives in an alley way where he is afraid of the street cats all around him, and gets an 'alley cat fever' which is just too allegorical for my tastes. Up to you, but may be better for kids maybe aged 8 and up...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is hilarious. The bathos of Ralph's predicament is devastatingly funny. He deserves everything he gets. During one scene, the author slips in a perhaps unconscious homage to the famous nose episode of the Brady Bunch, when the owner of a dog is heard to exclaim "my dog!"
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Format: Paperback
How could I have taken so long to discover Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos? In 2006, Rotten Ralph celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. To date, there are at least nineteen books about Rotten Ralph. Moreover, Rotten Ralph had at one time been so popular, a thirty-minute television show based on the characters aired for one year. Yet this October is the first time I read this humorous tale.

The story line of Rotten Ralph, the book for which Jack Gantos gained his fame, is an interesting one. Gantos starts out by providing various examples of how Ralph is a rotten cat, with each one taking more paragraphs to explain and showing increasingly worse behavior, until readers have to decide how much to stomach. Next, in a clever twist on the traditional plot, Ralph’s exasperated family decides to leave him with the circus. At this point, the story takes on a questionable melodramatic air: Ralph is made to work. And work. And work. And when he refuses, he is locked up and taunted and tormented. He then runs away, and gets cold and sick and lonely. In one sense, this part of the story feels as if it were written by a young person. In another sense, it feels exactly how a young person would view the world. So, I’m left feeling as if Rotten Ralph has a charm which works for a standalone book but also as if I’d like to read subsequent stories to see if they become more sophisticated.

Now let me talk about Rotten Ralph as a character, because it makes for the most questionable part of the series. Rotten Ralph is certainly the type who could give cats a bad name. Ralph taunts Sarah, goes after mother’s favorite birds, and ruins a birthday party by taking a bite out of all the cookies. I wonder if Ralph more epitomizes naughty boys than bad cats.
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