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BAD RATS by Eric Drachman


by Eric Drachman & illustrated by James Muscarello

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-9703809-4-4
Publisher: Kidwick

Heart wins over Head in this nearly plotless fable that seems designed for adult sensibilities, rather than children’s. Dubbed “bad” because one wants to paint, one to sing and one to dance, three rats are sent to stern Professor Perimeter to have their attentions refocused on mere survival, like “good” rats. Their performances, however, cause the Professor to recall his own youth—“He saw beyond the walls he’d built, beyond the world he’d known, and deep into the imagination he’d once possessed”—and to upgrade his students from Bad to “Exceptional.” In his soft-toned illustrations, Muscarello dresses the Professor in a vest, provides smudges of paint or articles of clothing to distinguish each of the three young artists and places all in a minimally detailed curbside setting. An enclosed CD includes both a dramatization with an original soundtrack and (lest any aspect of the Lesson go unexplained) a lecture. Any promotion of the arts is worthwhile, but the main character here is the grown-up. (Picture book. Adult)