Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Little Rat Sets Sail

Little Rat Sets Sail

Monika Bang-Campbell
Illustrator:   Molly Garrett Bang 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Harcourt, 2003   ISBN: 978-0152047696

Little Rat does not want to learn how to sail but she has no choice in the matter for her parents have signed her up for lessons and that is that. The whole process begins badly when she realizes that her life vest is different from everyone else’s and she is sure that she must look like "a dork." Matters get steadily worse when she sees that one of the boats they are going to sail looks like a bathtub and is tiny. Little Rat imagines all the horrid creatures out in the deep sea that can get her and she is a thoroughly miserable and terrified little rat.

Still, in spite of herself, Little Rat starts to learn how to sail and she also discovers that she has hidden wells of courage within her furry little person. She takes the initiative and begins to make steady progress towards becoming a bona fide sailing rat.

Written in such a way as to capture the imaginations of young readers, this little story is both funny and entertaining. Everyone can recognize a little bit of themselves in Little Rat for we are all afraid of something. Every time Little Rat triumphs over another of her fears we can feel proud of her; and we can look forward to the day when she will feel brave enough to finally put her paws in the water and go for a swim with her friends. This book would be a very good companion for a child who is going to be trying something new for the first time and who is feeling fearful about the prospect.

This book is a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book.