Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WORSE THAN ROTTEN, RALPH by Jack Gantos

WORSE THAN ROTTEN, RALPH

By Jack Gantos (Author) , Nicole Rubel (Illustrator)

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1982
ISBN: 0395329191
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

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. Goaded to prove his rottenness, though, Ralph leads the alley cats on a binge that puts their own deviltry to shame. (A highlight is their rampage through Pierre's Poodle Parlor, terrorizing the poodles who are sitting around under hair dryers.) Back home Ralph has the cats jumping on Sarah's bed and painting wild pictures on the wall; and, in a properly wicked ending, all he gets from Sarah is petting, because "those horrible alley cats" have led "poor Ralph" astray. All in all, Gantos and Rubel's one inspired creation defends his title with a gratifying vengeance.