The pesky rat wonders what it would be like to live with the creature comforts actual pets enjoy, like his friends Pierre the chinchilla, Oscar the Siamese cat, Nibbles the lop-eared rabbit and Andrew the Scottie dog. And he’s got a plan for how to make his dream come true …All proceeds from this special edition go to UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need, which Lauren Child is supporting with her own project, ‘My Life Story’. This edition includes an eight-page section all about UNESCO and Lauren’s own role in helping the children they support all over the world.
Lauren Child, creator of the popular Clarice Bean books, lavishes her zany, ultramodern, mixed-media attentions on the animal kingdom in That Pesky Rat. This brown street rat lives in a trash can in Grubby Alley, longing to be someone’s pet. He knows plenty of animals who are pets. Pierre, a chinchilla, lives in the lap of luxury with Madame Fifi who feeds him chocolates. Nibbles, a lop-eared rabbit, works in a circus with Mr. Hoopla. (With all the trapezes and such, she may have a life that’s “a little too nerve-wracking,” but at least she has a name other than that pesky rat.) Miss St. Clair does puzzles with her Scottie dog, Andrew, and makes him wear a little hat and coat. “I don’t think clothes would suit me,” says our rat. “But I would do anything to be somebody’s pet.” One day, the rat takes the matter into his own paws and posts a notice in Mrs. Trill’s pet store: “Brown rat looking for a kindly owner with an interest in cheese.” Fortunately, the myopic Mr. Fortesque thinks he is a cat, and of course, no one corrects him. They live happily ever after, Mr. Fortesque and… Tiddles. Child’s funky, clashing-pattern collages complement this sweetly earnest story of a creature who wants to love and be loved, even if it means having to wear a little sweater. (Ages 4 to 8) –Karin Snelson –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.