HAROLD’S TAIL by John Bemelmans Marciano


Age Range: 7 - 11
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Ever thought about the difference between a rat and a squirrel? Marciano has—and the result is a study of prejudice and elitism that never once loses sight of its frolicking tail . . . er, tale. Harold, squirrel and proud owner of a fluffy tail, has the perfect life in Manhattan. Admirers have always lovingly supplied him with food. But Sidney, a conniving rat, alters his life forever when he fools Harold, naïve and sweet, into relinquishing his tail fur to Sidney and is immediately taken for a rat. Harold loses his home to Sidney and must now make his way in a world where he’s despised. A friendly group of rats takes him in and teaches him the ways of scrounging. Oddly, it takes many months for Harold’s tail to grow back, but having learned that it’s what’s behind the gray fur that matters, Harold eventually returns to his island. This is an endearing adventure, enhanced by black-and-white drawings, and a unique approach to a ubiquitous societal issue. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-670-03660-9
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2003


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