February 22, 2009

How to Save your Tail - by Mary Hanson

The full title of this book is How to Save Your Tail (if you are a rat nabbed by cats who really like stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls... and cookies too).  It's basically the story of a rat who was nabbed by cats... yes, the title is pretty accurate.  To escape the cats, who are trying to eat him for dinner, Bob the rat bakes them cookies and tells them story after story about his ancestors, who ended up being some pretty famous rats.  To see if he saves his tail (and life), read this short book yourself.

An unexpected twist in this book was that the author retold many traditional fairy tales from a rat's point of view.  The stories Bob told the cats included Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rumpelstilskin, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Little Pigs.  It's an interesting idea for a book, but the way it's told, through the eyes of a trapped rat, didn't do much for me, and I don't think the author pulled it off quite as well as she could have.  Nonetheless, it's a good book, especially for those who like talking animals and retold fairy tales. 

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