Reviews for Rotten Ralph Helps Out


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 July 2001
Gr. 1-2. Rotten Ralph and Sarah explore all things Egyptian in this latest adventure. Sarah invites Ralph to help her come up with a school project that represents Egyptian culture. Of course, everything goes hilariously awry. At the library, Ralph builds a pyramid of books and draws hieroglyphics on the walls; at home, he floods the hallway while trying to make a boat, and piles sand in the living room, to re-create a desert oasis. "Every time I want to do something fun you spoil it," says Sarah. In the end, however, Ralph's Sphinx costume makes him the hit of the class. The text's short sentences and dialogue are basic enough for new readers while imparting plenty of interesting facts about the Egyptians. Rubel's familiar, richly colored cartoon illustrations show the chaos and humor. ((Reviewed July 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
Youngsters who enjoyed Rotten Ralph in his picture book outings can now encounter the fractious feline in a beginning reader. Sarah, Ralph's long-suffering owner, has to do a project on ancient Egypt, and Ralph's ""help"" is of little value. The narrative unobtrusively includes many facts about Egypt. Rubel's illustrations parallel the story and also reflect its underlying frenzy. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2001 #5
Youngsters who met, and enjoyed, Rotten Ralph in his numerous picture book outings now have the good fortune to encounter the fractious feline in a beginning reader. Their familiarity with the characters and the kind of mischief Rotten Ralph can create will help them predict both vocabulary and story development, thus simplifying the act of reading. Sarah, Ralph's long-suffering owner, has to make a project on ancient Egypt. Ralph's help, which includes constructing a pyramid of books in the library, building a desert oasis in the living room, and dumping his bug collection (complete with beetles) in Sarah's lap, is of little value. Not until he dresses up like the greatest cat of ancient Egypt, the Sphinx, does the Rotten one produce a product worthy of the exalted status Egyptians afforded cats and his present cocksure self. "Sarah's teacher was impressed. Her school friends were impressed. Of course, Ralph was impressed with himself." Gantos unobtrusively includes many facts about Egypt (ancient Egyptians made the first pancakes, played checkers, and built libraries) within the narrative, while Rubel's illustrations not only parallel the story but also reflect the underlying frenzy through contrasting colors, busy detail, and diagonal lines. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Magazine

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Kirkus Reviews 2001 July #1
Rotten Ralph's bouncy, semi-bad behavior and amusing antics have been delighting children for years in the long-running series from the versatile Gantos (Joey Pigza Loses Control, 2000, etc.). Now the irrepressible Ralph has moved on to "Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers" in this upper-level easy reader with an Egyptian theme that will dovetail nicely into first- and second-grade classrooms studying ancient Egypt. Ralph's owner, the ever-cheerful Sarah, shares all the interesting facts she's learned in the class Egyptian unit, and Ralph tries to help her with her library research and her individual class project, causing his familiar brand of minor troubles at every turn. (He does at least attempt to be helpful in this story, rather than rotten as in some of his previous capers.) Rubel's flat, stylized illustrations in full color are a natural complement to the Egyptian style of art, and she adds a good deal of additional information on ancient Egyptian culture through her illustrations. The text is set in large type with plenty of white space, and the story is divided into four simple chapters. Although this will function well as an amusing and educational easy reader, it contains enough facts and illustrations about ancient Egypt to serve as the corner stone for a classroom thematic unit-all that and rascally red Rotten Ralph, too. (Easy reader. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 July #1
Fans of Gantos's irrepressible Ralph who are ready to graduate from picture books will eagerly leap into this early chapter book, the first installment of the Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader series. Not surprisingly, the disaster-prone feline initially does not help out at all, but rather comically wreaks havoc as he accompanies Sarah to the library. While she researches a school project on the Egyptians, Ralph constructs a pyramid out of books and practices writing hieroglyphics on the walls. Back home, the rambunctious cat, more determined than ever to offer assistance, proceeds to flood the bathroom when Sarah suggests they build a model of an Egyptian boat; he also fills the living room with sand and palm trees when she considers building a desert oasis. In a pleasing if predictable turnabout, Ralph comes to Sarah's rescue when he dresses up as the Sphinx to provide her with a winning project for school. The author sprinkles his lighthearted narrative with facts about ancient Egyptian culture and lifestyle. His animated pictures feature ample amusing particulars and reveal the less-than-rotten Ralph with a range of diverting facial expressions. Gantos gets it right again. Ages 6-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 August
Gr 1-3-That infamous feline is now appearing in a new series of beginning readers. In this story, Ralph assists his owner, Sarah, with her class project on ancient Egypt. Readers will learn a bit about the life and customs of this fascinating place and time while they build their literacy skills. Throughout the short chapters, Ralph is up to his usual tricks; he gets into trouble for building a pyramid of books and writing hieroglyphics on the walls during a visit to the library. The colorful and humorous illustrations add appeal and reinforce Ralph's rotten behavior. A wise choice for youngsters making the transition from picture books to chapter books.-Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. #

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