Monday, February 5, 2018

Winter Reading 2018 Rodent Rascals


From the tiniest pygmy jerboa to the large capybara, Rodent Rascals looks at the amazing world of rodents both near and far. Creatures on every continent except Antarctica show amazing adaptations to their environments. Some can jump 9 or even 10 feet, others can glide through the air or build watertight homes. Read to discover which has an unusual tail that helps it to swim, or which is clever enough to use "heat dumping" to keep itself cool in the desert. Find out which are used to help locate landmines, detect tuberculosis, or predict when spring will come - or which might be responsible for damaging the wiring of a car's engine. Some are kept as pets or lab animals, while others live in the wild or may be found in zoos. 

Young readers will be amazed to see each animal represented in life size, making it easy to compare them. Some of the larger animals are shown in part with just a head on one page and maybe a tail or leg shown on another, because they are too big to fit in the book as a whole image. A hamster is shown getting a workout on its exercise wheel while a prairie dog keeps a lookout for anything approaching the colony. Many of the rodents seem to have personality shining out from the page. The gerbil seems startled as if readers have interrupted him while he was busy, while the chipmunk stares over the top of the peanut he is eating as if to say, "What are you looking at?"

Back matter includes details about each species shown - size, habitat, and interesting facts about whether they hibernate, are nocturnal, live in family groups, etc. There is also a glossary, list of sources, and index. An entire page of useful websites are organized into sections about rodents in the wild, in zoos, as pets, and for rodent enthusiasts.

If you know an animal lover, or someone who is especially interested in small furry critters, this is a great book for them. It will make an excellent addition to classroom or school libraries, or to use in lessons on adaptations and the variety of mammals in the world.

I read an F&G provided by the publisher for review purposes.


  1. What a lovely review! Thank you so much. As you perceived, I fell in love with some of these characters, and wanted to imbue them with character and personality...making this book was a lot of fun!

  2. Dear Roxie - The personality definitely came through. I don't know how you managed that and still kept them realistic, rather than humanizing them You rock!