Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Little Rat Rides

Little Rat Rides

Monika Bang-Campbell
Illustrator:   Molly Garrett Bang 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Harcourt Children's Books, 2004   ISBN: 0152046674

When Little Rat tells her father, Daddy Rat, that she wants to learn how to ride a horse, she has no idea what she is getting herself into. It is only when she meets the horse she is going to ride, Pee Wee, that she realizes what it means to ride a horse. Little Rat is of course very small and a horse is very big. When Little Rat is on Pee Wee’s back the ground is “VERY far away.” Needless to say the whole experience is rather frightening but Little Rat decides to try anyway. After all Pee Wee does seem to be “awfully sweet.”

And so it is that Little Rat begins to learn how to ride a horse. It is not easy and she has many trials to face. There is the grumpy goat Chrissy who frightens Little Rat; Pee Wee runs away with Little Rat on one occasion and Little Rat ends up falling on her bottom in a most undignified and painful way. Then the big horse accidentally steps on Little Rat’s foot which is even more painful. And yet, despite it all, Little Rat does not give up.

With laugh out loud humour, great sensitivity to the feelings of little people, and abundant charm, the author has made this new Little Rat adventure a real delight to read for both adults and children. Molly Bang’s illustrations are funny, and give the reader a real sense of how small Little Rat is in comparison to her mighty steed. The personalities of the characters come through very clearly; we can see that there is a streak of downright wickedness in Chrissy’s heart, and we know that Pee Wee is just a big softie.