The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau. Illustrated by Matt Myers. Candlewick Press, 2016
Two rat brothers, Louie and Ralphie, live with their hard-as-nails father in a big city. They aspire to be as mean as their dad, so they constantly scheme ways to prove their toughness. Each episodic chapter recounts a different mean thing they plan and execute; however, each ends up having the opposite effect. For example, when they snatch a big bully’s hat right off his head, they are lauded for doing so—it turns out the bully had stolen the hat from a much smaller kid. When they make a sandwich with all the gross stuff in their fridge to give to a new student, Fluffy Rabbitski, it turns out to be all of her favorite foods. The chapters are short and snappy, and each one has a funny and surprising reversal. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:
- What are the differences between being a bully and being tough? Use examples from the story.
- What do you do to make life easier for your community?
- Have you done something differently than you expected?