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Tatty Ratty
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A wonderfully inventive and heart-warming story, starring a brave and adventurous rabbit from the award-winning Helen Cooper.

About the Author

HELEN COOPER is the only illustrator ever to win the highly prestigious Kate Greenaway Award for two consecutive books- THE BABY WHO WOULDN'T GO TO BED, 1996 and PUMPKIN SOUP, 1998. She has had several other successful titles published by Doubleday including LITTLE MONSTER DID IT! and THE BEAR UNDER THE STAIRS, which won the Smarties Young Judges' Award in 1994. Both are now perennial favourites in nurseries, schools, libraries and bookshops. Helen is married to author/illustrator Ted Dewan. They have one daughter and live in Oxford.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 2-When Molly leaves her favorite stuffed animal on a bus, she is inconsolable. At bedtime, Dad comforts her by suggesting that Tatty Ratty has hopped off the bus and is on his way home. Over the next few days, Molly and her parents contribute different twists to the rabbit's adventures, as he calls on the Three Bears (they fatten him up on porridge), travels in Cinderella's coach (she brushes and mends his fur), and meets a band of pirates (after a cleansing dip in the ocean). After a trip to the moon, he finally returns to earth via floating umbrella. Early the next morning, the family visits a toy store, where Molly finds Tatty Ratty on the shelf, looking just like new. Cooper presents a common dilemma and then allows her protagonist to confront the problem by using her imagination. Realistic scenes of everyday life are punctuated by forays into a fanciful world where anything can happen. A combination of small vignettes and larger, boxed illustrations help readers to keep the story lines straight, while bright colors and amusing details keep them interested in Tatty Ratty's doings. Backgrounds in soothing pastel hues and a carefully balanced layout add to the artwork's strong appeal. Loose ends are neatly tied up, as the specifics of the rabbit's journey explain his shiny new appearance. In addition to comforting children who have lost a beloved plaything, this book will also appeal to those who dream about the imaginary lives of their toys.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

It looks like Molly's eponymous stuffed rabbit may be missing for good, but the girl takes comfort in imagining a picaresque future for him: a circuitous journey home that includes encounters with the Three Bears, Cinderella, fierce pirates, a friendly dragon and the Man in the Moon. But Tatty Ratty makes Errol Flynn-like moves and proves himself both resourceful and savvy ("He'll find a way to escape," says Mom when Molly throws in the pirate plot as a complication. "He always does"), and he does not shy away from biting Cinderella when she tries to brush his fur. Mom and Dad bring the saga to a close by suggesting that Molly look for Tatty Ratty in a rabbit-themed toy shop. With a knowing wink, Cooper (Pumpkin Soup) gives Dad a plum quote, "Remember, he might look different," while Mom chimes in, "And he'll be very clean and fluffy." Sure enough, Tatty Ratty awaits Molly on a shelf literally as good as new. On each spread, small realistic spot illustrations of Molly unspooling her story (with assistance from her understanding parents) during meals, bath and bedtime serve as counterpoint to full-page, fanciful pictures of the bunny's adventures, and inject an immediacy and improvisational verve into every new escapade. Never patronizing or sentimental, this is a wise and respectful tribute to children's storytelling powers. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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