Saturday, July 07, 2007

Walter, the Story of a Rat

I first came across this book in this catalog more than a year ago, I guess when the book was first published. When I read the blurb about Walter, I was intrigued.

"For reasons he could not explain, Walter had been born with the ability to read. He had never known another rat who had this ability, but from the day he opened his eyes he was able to decipher printed words."

This story is kind and gentle, a perfect read-aloud. Not only is it an interesting story, the meanings of words are explained as well as introduction to literary terms. Walter is just the perfect book to draw children into a reading life. For this reason, I plan to read this aloud to my sixth graders in a few weeks.

The drawings by Donna Diamond scattered throughout the book are delightful.

"At present Walter was reading a paperback book on Imperial Russia. Some very important people--royalty, actually--had been assassinated during a revolution long ago. Their dog, howevre, had been spared. It was a tragic tale filled with wonderful name--Nicholas, Alexandra, and Rasputin. Olga, Alexei, and Anastasia."

"Walter read the letter three times. It was hard to understand its true meaning, for it seemed both hostile and friendly. This was what people meant by a paradox, but he, Walter, had never been good at paradoxes."
I only have one complaint: Walter: The Story of a Rat is said to be for ages 5 to 8. No, that should read "for ages 5 to 80." It is a precious story that even eighty-year-olds will love.

Now, if I can just find a lifesized plastic rat....

Walter: The Story of a Rat. I will almost guarantee you will not be disappointed.


Dana said...

Well, you've got me hooked.

I'm not too old to remember 6th grade and my *social studies* aka history teacher/class. It was more like a study of nations/world geography. In addition to reading about each new country, we had a project for each as well. I cooked or baked something from each: like chocolate mousse for France, a pastry for Russia, homemade pasta for Italy.

It was fun! And I think your student will enjoy the adventure that you have set up for them.

ellen b said...

I am intrigued and I'm going to check my local bookstore for this book. If it's not there I'm clicking Amazon...

Circle of Quiet said...

I am quite relieved, actually, to hear that a plastic rat (life-sized) is difficult to find. Ewwwww.

Perhaps you could make one with sculpey?

The book is going on my wishlist, that's for sure.

Happy weekend,