Holiday Gifts for All

From the November/December 2000 Rat & Mouse Gazette


  • Ducommun, Debbie: Rats!: For Today's Pet Owner, Bowtie, 1998. The most accurate rat care book available.
  • Bucsis and Somerville: Training Your Pet Rat, Barron's Books, 2000. Basic rat care and training information.


  • Bianchi, John: The Lab Rat of Doctor Eclair, Bungalo Books, 1997. A bolt of lightning strikes the lab of Dr Eclair which transforms three of his lab rats into super rodents, who then assist the scientist in constructing an artificial rat. Reading level: ages 4-8.
  • Cox, Judy: Third Grade Pet, Holiday House, 1998. Fearing for the safety of the third grade's pet rat, Cheese, Rosemary takes him home in her backpack. Mayhem ensues. Reading level: grades 2-4.
  • Erlbach, Arlene: My Pet Rat. A 12 year-old girl learns to care for her pet rat. Reading level: grades 3-6.
  • Glaser, Linda: Rosie's Birthday Rat. Rosie's rat-phobic mom surprises her on her birthday with a black and white baby rat, who she names Midnight. Reading level: ages 4-8.
  • Grahame, Kenneth: The Wind in the Willows. Enter the world of the great river and meet the marvelous riverbank animals. The Water Rat is the star for our purposes. Reading level: ages 9 and older.
  • Horwood, William: The author wrote these sequels to Grahame's classic:
    The Willows in Winter: The animals are drawn into a wild goose chase involving plummeting airplanes, tumbles in the freezing river, and courtroom drama.
    Toad Triumphant: Mole and Rat journey up the river in order to "get a little nearer to the mystery we have called Beyond."
    Willows and Beyond: While Rat is communing with the river, he senses that something is terribly wrong. When it becomes clear that the fate of their beloved river bank is threatened, all the animals rally together to save it. Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • Krailing, Tessa: Oscar the Fancy Rat (Petsitters Club, No 7). Barron's Educational Series, 1999. The petsitters are taking care of cute, furry, and friendly Oscar until he disappears. Sniffing out Oscar may save his life. Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • Meddaugh, Susan: Cinderella's Rat. Cinderella's fairy godmother turns the rat into a coachman. "I was born a rat. I expected to be a rat all my days. But life is full of surprises." Reading level: ages 4-8.
  • O'Brien, Robert C.: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. A widowed mouse, whose home and family are threatened by humans, turns to the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory, NIMH, made them wise and long lived: Injections that they received rendered them literate. Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • Conly, Jane Leslie: Racso and the Rats of NIMH. This is a sequel to O'Brien's tale. Timothy Fisby, a field mouse, teams up with the adventurous young rat, Racso, to prevent the destruction of a secret community of rats that can read and write. R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH introduces two children into Thorn Valley.
  • O'Donovan, Dermot: Silas Rat and the Nuclear Tail. Wolfsbane Nuclear Power Plant, commanded buy Dr. Slobadon Hitchcock, looms over Cheeseham river. Exterminator Lucius Esox lures the rats into Devil's Tombstone. Can they escape? Can they get Int. Nuclear Fuels closed down before everyone becomes radioactive? Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • Potter, Beatrix: The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly-Poly Pudding. She dedicates this tale to her own pet rat: "In remembrance of Sammy, the intelligent, pink-eyed representative of a persecuted (but irrepressible) race. An affectionate little friend, and most accomplished thief." Reading level: ages 4-8.
  • Rosenthal, Rachel: Tatti Wattles: a Love Story, Smart Art Press, 1997. Performance artist and animal rights activist wrote this tale about her beloved free range rat, Tatti Wattles. Tatti leads Rachel on a journey of self-discovery. "To love an animal is to truly love." Her article on Tatti appeared in the Rat & Mouse Gazette. Reading level: all ages.
  • Seidler, Tor: A Rat's Tale. Montague, an artistic young rat living beneath the streets of New York City, must save his friends from extermination. Reading level: grades 4-8.
  • Swentzell, Porter P: The Story of Rosie's Rat: a True Story, La Alameda Press, 1995. Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • Verne, Jules: Adventures of the Rat Family: a Fairy Tale. A rat family makes its way up the evolutionary ladder from oyster to human, with the help of good fairy Firmenta. But they must contend with the evil prince Gardafour. Rata, Ratanne, Ratonne, Raton, Ratine, and Rate live in Ratopolis. Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • White, E.B.: Charlotte's Web. The center of attention is Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider adept at P.R. Templeton is the barn rat and a gourmand, who is rewarded for his efforts. Reading level: ages 9-12.
  • Yen, Clara: Why Rat Comes First: a Story of the Chinese Zodiac. This is a folktale that explains why the Rat is the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Reading level: ages 4-8.


  • Grass, Gunter: The Rat A female rat engages the human narrator in a series of dialogues demonstrating that the rats will inherit a devastated earth. (Fiction)
  • Hodgson, Barbara, ed.: The Rat: a Perverse Miscellany, Ten Speed Press, 1997. The editor capitalizes on the mystery surrounding the rat to present a sensationalized history of the rat: packed with rat facts, fiction, lore, maps, and even a glossary. She also examines the rat's role in science, literature, and of course film.
  • Kotzwinkle, William: Doctor Rat. This is an exploration of the use of animals in human research, from the perspective of the lab rat who has been in the lab a little too long. This enlightening tale is not for squeamish readers. (Fiction)
  • Kwok, Man-Ho: Chinese Horoscopes Library: Rat. "Gregarious, intelligent, and polite, the Rat has an ever-widening social circle." This book focuses on the Rat in Chinese astrology. The author is a revered Chinese astrologer.
  • Wilson, David Henry: The Coachman Rat. This new dark version of the Cinderella story is told from the rat's perspective. A fairy godmother grants Robert the rat's wish to be human when she transforms him into the coachman for the night to chauffeur Amadea (Cinderella stand-in) to the ball. (Fiction)
  • Zaniewski, Andrzej. Rat. A rat struggles for survival in a modern world controlled by human civilization. The author suggests that this is also "a novel about the laws that govern society, about our mythologies, our truths and lies, about love and hope, loneliness and nostalgia." (Fiction)