“ Author: Julia Donaldson / Format: Mixed media product / Date of publication: 06 June 2013 / Genre: Picture Storybooks / Publisher: Scholastic / Title: The Highway Rat / ISBN 13: 9781407132341 / ISBN 10: 1407132341 / Alternative EAN: 9781407124377 „
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Julia Donaldson is back with another classic children's story, this time it's the turn of The Highway Rat. On the back of the book we are told to, "Beware of the Highway Rat. He'll steal your food..... and your heart!" the creators of The Gruffalo stand and deliver another masterpiece, in this rollicking rhyme inspired by Alfred Noyes' much loved poem, The Highwayman.
I really like this book as I am quite a big fan of The Highwayman poem and this is a funny reworking of the poem to make it fun for kids and is also a really funny way of incorporating a rat into the poem.
The little Highway rat is actually really cute even though he is supposed to be a mean rat. He reminds me of Antonio Banderas's puss in boots character in the Shrek movie series, he's small and wears a fun hat with a feather and a cape and boots, just like puss in boots would wear so I think that's where I get the similarity.
Along the way the rat meets lots of different animals on the road and I think this is a great way of familiarising kids with different animals. He meets rabbits, a squirrel, some ants, a cat, a spider and a duck to name but a few. The story is a good one because it teaches us a lesson in the end which is a good thing for kids to know.
The language and text in this book is nice and bold and easy to read and my daughter loves the repetition of the poem, always going back to The Highway phrase and this is the part she is able to join in with as she remembers this part.
As always with Julia Donaldson books this one is also wonderfully illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The animals are very authentic and lifelike and the book is wonderful and colourful and really brings the characters and story to life. This book is a large paperback book and makes it easy for kids to flick through the pages themselves. It costs £6.99 and is a wonderful kids book I recommend.