Reviews for Cinderella's Rat


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 October 1997
Ages 5^-7. Everyone knows what happened to Cinderella when the clock struck midnight, but what became of the rat who was changed into a coachman? Meddaugh, author and illustrator of the successful Martha the Talking Dog series, pleasingly answers the question in this amusing book. Here, the coachman is actually a coachboy who likes castle life with all its food. But when his sister turns up (still a rat), the coachboy almost gives himself away to a new friend. However, the lad believes that Sis is a girl who has been turned into a rat. So the next step is seeing a wizard who can change her back to her girlish self. It's all an entertaining mix-up that winds up with the coachboy turning back into a rat, Sis becoming a girl, and life full of surprises. As usual, Meddaugh's lively ink-and-watercolor art heightens the humor. Kids well versed in the Cinderella story will like this spin-off. ((Reviewed October 1, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
In this Cinderella story told by the rat who was turned into a coachman, the narrator's sister--still a rat, of course--hitches a ride to the castle. There her brother rescues her from being killed by the kitchen boy, who then thinks she's a girl under a spell and takes her to a wizard. A startling transformation concludes in a better life for the whole rat family. A clever twist on a famous story, illustrated in Meddaugh's cheerful, mischievous style. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1997 #5
The Cinderella story is a fruitful source of tales for the young. There are versions told from the traditional point of view, the sisters' point of view, the fairy godmother's point of view-and now the rat-who-was-turned-into-a-coachman's point of view. More of a coachboy, really, he's still hungry from his life as a rat, where "cats are plentiful and food is scarce"; so, having driven Cinderella to the castle, he makes his way into the kitchens. There he eats to his heart's content until his sister appears-she's still a rat, of course-and the kitchen boy tries to kill her. The now-coachboy rescues her ("Stop! That's my sister!"); the kitchen boy, thinking she is under a spell, takes her to the wizard to have it removed. This misapprehension results in a startling transformation that con-cludes in a better life for the whole rat family. And as the rat-turned-coachboy-turned-rat says philosophically at the end, "Life is full of sur-prises, so you may as well get used to it." A clever twist on a famous story, illustrated in Meddaugh's cheerful, mischievous style. a.a.f. Copyright 1999 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 June #1
Fairy tale magic goes comically awry in Meddaugh's (Martha Speaks) witty take on the story of Cinderella. An ordinary rat and his sister Ruth fear they are doomed after they are lured into a rat trap. But they've happened into no ordinary snare: their captor waves a wand and changes the narrator into a coachman ("Well, more of a coachboy") and instructs him to chauffeur a smiling blonde girl to a ball. As the girl dances the night away, the rat/coachboy finds a wizard to work the same kind of form-changing magic on Ruth. Unfortunately, the bumbling wizard's wacky spells change Ruth into a girl who barks like a dog. This zany string of events leads to a satisfying conclusion, just at the stroke of midnight. Meddaugh suffuses her silly plot with a pert drollery that keeps readers intrigued from start to finish. Children will no doubt find encouragement to imagine all sorts of additional twists on the traditional fairy tale. Meddaugh's spirited watercolors capture the rats' frantic and amazed expressions as they tumble through life-altering adventures. And her skillful use of kinetic swirls and sparkles suggests nothing short of magic. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 October
What if one of the rats transformed into a coachman by the fairy godmother for Cinderella's coach remained human? What if he has a sister who remained a rat? What if an inept wizard tried to reverse the spell that wasn't a spell to change her back into a human-even though she never was one? With Meddaugh's magic wand, this fairy-tale switcheroo animates the scenario with tongue-in-cheek, tail-in-hand, and out and out clever aplomb. The telling is a perfect example of a successful fractured fairy tale, with switched point of view (told by the rat/coachboy), plays on words, and dramatic tension. The plot is short; the playfulness of story is tall; and the buoyant line drawings capture the whimsy. Just as her "Martha" books (Houghton) delight and entertain, this spoof tickles and Julie Cummins, New York Public Library Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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