Books by Nicole Rubel

THREE STRIKES FOR ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 15, 2011

"Ralph's only redeeming quality is his love for Sarah, but his irrepressible rottenness will delight newly independent readers. (Early reader. 6-8)"
Has Ralph learned nothing in more than 30 years of misadventures and misbehavior? Read full book review >
THE NINE LIVES OF ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: May 4, 2009

"His resolve to live his last life as vigorously as his first eight may inspire adult readers more than children, but there's nothing wrong with that. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The bright red feline counter-Clifford faces his greatest challenge yet when the vet announces that he's gone through eight of his allotted lives. Read full book review >
IT’S HOT AND COLD IN MIAMI by Nicole  Rubel
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 2, 2006

"Rubel's own signature quirky pen-and-ink drawings round out the Floridian and American-Jewish milieu. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Life is difficult and puzzling for Rachel, with an identical twin sister, Rebecca, who outshines her in every way. Read full book review >
TWICE AS NICE by Nicole  Rubel
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 6, 2004

"A must for multiples, the people in their lives, and anyone who wants to learn about this special bond. (sources) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-11)"
With multiples on the rise, yet the number of good books on the subject scarce, a welcome title for young twins or curious singletons. Read full book review >
NO MORE VEGETABLES! by Nicole  Rubel
FICTION
Released: Aug. 27, 2002

"The solution could be encouraging to other Ruthies, except if they've already heard this story they'll be wise to the bribe. (Picture book. 5-8)"
"Vegetables are gross!" Read full book review >
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT FOR ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: March 20, 2002

"And of course, he'll be back for more of these delightful readers—because practice makes perfect. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
Gantos brings back that rascally red Rotten Ralph for the second entry in the Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers series (Rotten Ralph Helps Out, 2001). Read full book review >
ROTTEN RALPH HELPS OUT by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 7, 2001

"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)"
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.). Read full book review >
A COWBOY NAMED ERNESTINE by Nicole  Rubel
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2001

"This tale is a treat all the way around. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Rubel (Wedding Bells for Rotten Ralph, 1999, etc.) takes a piece of Americana and extrapolates a spry tale of a spirited Irish lady in frontier Texas. Read full book review >
BACK TO SCHOOL FOR ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 30, 1998

"As always, Gantos supplies a happy ending for Ralph and Sarah; it's safely predictable while providing some surprises along the way. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Rotten Ralph (Rotten Ralph's Rotten Romance, 1997, etc.) returns in a ninth adventure, afraid of losing Sarah's attention and affection when she starts school. Read full book review >
ROTTEN RALPH'S ROTTEN ROMANCE by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"It's Ralph's eighth episode—and as Sarah's unrelenting forgiveness grows increasingly incomprehensible, the formula is starting to wear thin. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Clifford the Big Red Dog's feline evil twin confronts his worst nightmare: Valentine's Day. Read full book review >
WHEN SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY DRINKS TOO MUCH by Richard C. Langsen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1996

"The pervasive sense of sorrow, tempered by hope, may mark the book as bibliotherapy, to be shared by adults and children, rather than for young readers on their own. (Picture book. 6-10)"
 When fuzzy bears hit the booze it can be just as devastating to their lives as it is for humans. Read full book review >
THE GHOST FAMILY MEETS ITS MATCH by Nicole  Rubel
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Good fun, and sure to appeal. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 In the 1880's, an explorer sets out for Africa; he never returns, and the Ghost family (Ivy, Igor, their parents and cat) moves in. Read full book review >
ROTTEN RALPH'S ROTTEN CHRISTMAS by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1984

"Rubel's antic, naive illustrations keep this open display of sibling rivalry at a delectable, cathartic remove—while the conjunction with Christmas ("Bad cats don't get Christmas presents") doubles the stakes."
WORSE THAN ROTTEN, RALPH by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 25, 1982

"All in all, Gantos and Rubel's one inspired creation defends his title with a gratifying vengeance."
Climbing a tree to knock the hats off passers-by seems a tame prank compared to Ralph's earlier one (in Rotten Ralph) of sawing off the branch from which Sarah was swinging; but it is one of the tricks the tough alley cats lure him into when he is trying to stay reformed. Read full book review >
ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 19, 1980

"Rudel has a grand time with Ralph's wicked antics—picture a lusher, more emotive Byron Barton—and her hyper-naive playfulness is cathartic and just what a devil like Ralph has coming to him."
Rotten Ralph is a mean-eyed, saw-toothed, bright red cat, so bad he makes Awful Alexander (see above) look like a goody-goody. Read full book review >
AUNT BERNICE by Jack Gantos
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1978

"Aunt Bernice's consistent coltish spirits could indeed be trying; but with her splashy patterns, outrageous perspective, exhuberant asides, and even a loving, Matisse-y hug at the end, Rubel does her to a frazzle."
If neither Aunt Bernice nor her wonderful (if Booth-like) dog Rex can yet face up to Gantos and Rubel's inspired red cat, still for the first time since Rotten Ralph Gantos' story provides a suitable outlet for Rubel's manic energy. Read full book review >
FAIR-WEATHER FRIENDS by Jack Gantos
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1977

"After their happy pairing in last year's Rotten Ralph, Gantos and Rubel seem as ill-matched here as Maggie and Chester."
Maggie and Chester are best friends, but because he hates the freezing North, where they live, and she is miserable in the sizzling tropics, where they row for a vacation, they decide to split—keeping in touch via postcards and visiting "just as often as they can." Read full book review >