May 9th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2017-2018 Primary | January

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:

  1. What are the differences between being a bully and being tough? Use examples from the story.
  2. What do you do to make life easier for your community?
  3. Have you done something differently than you expected?


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