Books by Paul Rátz de Tagyos

FERRET FUN by Karen Rostoker-Gruber
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2011

Fudge and Einstein were perfectly happy ferrets until Andrea, their owner, brought a surprise visitor into the house. Marvel, a chunky calico cat, is going to stay with them while her owner is away. Marvel has never seen a ferret. She knows Fudge and Einstein aren't cats. She knows they aren't dogs. They must be... Rats! Marvel loves to eat rats. No amount of discussion changes her mind. She breaks into their cage—but Andrea comes back in time to save the ferrets. What are a couple of enterprising ferrets to do? Hide? She'd find them. Ignore her? She'd bug them. Run away? There are no raisins in the wild! When they hit upon a plan to deal with the feline bully, it works perfectly…maybe too perfectly. Fudge and Einstein decide a friend is more helpful (and fun) than a frightened enemy (especially when it means raisins and a good game of chase). Rostoker-Gruber's tale of standing up to bullies might not offer any practical advice beyond the obvious, but children will identify with Fudge and Einstein's situation. Rátz de Tagyos's magic-marker-and-ink graphic-novel-style illustrations are the real draw; the bouncy, fanged trio are a terrific balance between Saturday morning cartoon and real animals. Just enough lesson hidden in the fun. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT by Kelly O’Connor McNees
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2010

"Standard romantic pabulum, but Alcott fans will find interesting tidbits to savor."
The title pretty much says it all about this first novel from McNees, an entry into the new subgenre that imagines the love life of spinster authoresses. Read full book review >
MAYBELLE GOES TO TEA by Katie Speck
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

Maybelle the Cockroach and Henry the Flea are still alive and bugging the very perfect Peabodys. The rule of their house might be "ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO BUGS," but rules are made to be broken. Whether it's a hidden cache of raspberry jam or a pile of sandwiches for the Ladies' Spring Tea, Maybelle's life is full of surprises. One is the arrival of Maurice, one Noticeable and Unwelcome fly who puts all the insects in danger of an Extermination Event but who also adds some excitement to the household. While Maybelle tries to follow The Rules that keep a cockroach safe, Maurice's watchword is "Go for it!" When Maybelle decides to do so, she goes through one terrifying and hilarious adventure after another. Rátz de Taygos's detailed, kinetic illustrations dot most pages, making the text accessible to new readers. Maybelle's oversized hair bow and Maurice's over-the-top antics, along with varied perspectives, keep readers at the heart of the adventure. Short sentences, laugh-out-loud situations and likable characters make this second series entry a winner. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >
MAYBELLE IN THE SOUP by Katie Speck
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Myrtle and Herbert Peabody, the picture of upper-class gentility, have their lives turned upside down by a lovely, plump cockroach named Maybelle. Living in a house that is dust and bug free is a challenge for the cockroach, but she follows The Rules: "When it's light, stay out of sight; if you're spied, better hide; never meet with human feet." Maybelle loves food but she is sick of crumbs and spills and longs for the tasty food she spies on the Peabodys' plates. Despite the warning of her friend Henry the Flea, Maybelle visits the Very Special Dinner table. Delightful details will make adults giggle right along with new readers. References to Herbert's comb-over, his wife's false eyelashes and illustrations that show the drama of an airborne roach and the bottom of Herbert's monstrous shoe add up to a lot of fun, especially for reading aloud. Maybelle is one cockroach who will be welcome back any day. (Fiction. 6-10)Read full book review >
READY, SET, SCHOOL! by Jacquelyn Mitchard
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2007

Oprah Book Club-phenom Mitchard enters the subgenre of "first-day-at-school" books with insouciant charm. Young Rory the raccoon hides from his parents when they want him to have his very first sleepover at his cousins' house, while the adults attend the semi-annual gourmet garbage party. After several surprisingly enjoyable nights with the cousins, Rory knows that time is nigh for attendance at the Remarkable Raccoon Suburban School. By now he feels ready. Until now, any deviation in color of the text is usually a shouted "NO!" from Rory, who is not quite ready to face up to the situation. At the end, his parents' "NO" is rendered in red ink, suddenly unready to send Rory to school. Rory exuberantly shouts out "YES!" Rátz de Tagyos's illustrations add tremendously to the humor—though these are strange-looking raccoons. However, the facial expressions, the warm interior color palette and the vivid deep blue of the evening sky grab the viewer's interest. Numerous examples of visual humor should amuse readers. For its theme, there is nothing unique, but combine the text with the illustrations and there are some very resourceful raccoons on the loose. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
READY, SET, SCHOOL! by Jacquelyn Mitchard
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2007

Oprah Book Club-phenom Mitchard enters the subgenre of "first-day-at-school" books with insouciant charm. Young Rory the raccoon hides from his parents when they want him to have his very first sleepover at his cousins' house, while the adults attend the semi-annual gourmet garbage party. After several surprisingly enjoyable nights with the cousins, Rory knows that time is nigh for attendance at the Remarkable Raccoon Suburban School. By now he feels ready. Until now, any deviation in color of the text is usually a shouted "NO!" from Rory, who is not quite ready to face up to the situation. At the end, his parents' "NO" is rendered in red ink, suddenly unready to send Rory to school. Rory exuberantly shouts out "YES!" Rátz de Tagyos's illustrations add tremendously to the humor—though these are strange-looking raccoons. However, the facial expressions, the warm interior color palette and the vivid deep blue of the evening sky grab the viewer's interest. Numerous examples of visual humor should amuse readers. For its theme, there is nothing unique, but combine the text with the illustrations and there are some very resourceful raccoons on the loose. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
A CONEY TALE by Paul Rátz de Tagyos
ANIMALS
Released: March 23, 1992

A new author-illustrator creates an appealing coney (rabbit) society in 17th-century Flanders, with unique enterprises like a ``pad repair shop'' and an ``ear care center'' and respectable coney burghers eating salad in timbered houses. One day, ``Holbun the Younger'' discovers that the ``pride of Conage,'' a huge tree, is actually a giant carrot. With no hesitation but considerable inventiveness, lovingly detailed in the precise illustrations, the coneys contrive to pull it up. A ``feeding frenzy'' ensues; the hole is made into a public fountain. There's no moral in this wry tale, not even implicitly: the coneys are delighted with their feat, and there are no unfortunate repercussions—which could make for some interesting discussion. Meanwhile, R†tz de Tagyos's bright, clean colors, varied use of frames and points of view, and Macaulay-like detailing of his fantastical technology mark an intriguing debut. (Picture book. 5-9) Read full book review >