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by Hannah Shaw & illustrated by Hannah Shaw

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 28th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86768-2
Publisher: Knopf

Good manners win out over bad in this hysterical spoof.

Ralph’s parents, fed up with his cleanliness and nice manners, send him to Bandit School. To say that Ralph doesn't fit in is an understatement. He fails miserably at behaving badly, and his teacher constantly sends notes home about his behavior. At the end of term she announces a competition: The Best Bandit in School title will be awarded to the raccoon that returns from vacation with the most loot in its sack. The other students spend vacation harassing citizens and being chased by the police, while Ralph’s sack is empty on the morning of the first day back. But a little kindness and a few good deeds on his way to school lead to some fruitful rewards. In the end, the other students clamor to know how Ralph managed to win the contest, and the Bandit School’s curriculum changes drastically. The cartoon raccoons are delightfully bedraggled rapscallions whose mischief is sure to elicit giggles, especially from those who look closely at the details.

Shaw has created a hero in Ralph for all those kids who don’t fit in and aren’t afraid to be who they are. (Picture book. 5-8)