Despereaux is a lovable big-eared underdog, um, mouse. When he’s born, he’s too small and his ears are too big and his eyes are weird. He’s so puny no one thinks he will even live. Even his own mother describes him as a disappointment. Now that’s sad. And as he grows, he’s just not good at being a mouse, but he’s got dreams, big ones. Go see the movie (opens Dec. 19), sure, but don’t miss the book, Despereaux might be tiny but he’s one mighty mouse. Author: Kate DiCamillo
Geronimo Stilton’s cousin Trap shows up with a treasure map he found in a trunk belonging to the Stilton’s adventerous Uncle Wally – a rodent Indiana Jones. Geronimo and Trap team up with Thea and Benjamin Stilton and travel to Mongolia and its famous Gobi Desert in search of the treasure. They travel by plane, bus & camel, sleep in a Mongolian gher (tent) and sample delicious Mongolian food – sausages with steamed onion and meat ravioli. Yum! Little do they know that they are not alone in the search for the buried treasure. Out in the desert – danger awaits – and it isn’t just the heat, scorpions & sand storms! Everybody wants this treasure – it’s huge! Author: Geronimo Stilton Illustrator: Claudio Cernuschi and Christian Aliprandi
“We’ve danced on the biggest stage in the world.” Five orphaned rats – Benny, Fletcher, Ella, Woody, and Monk – have dreams of following in their parents’ footsteps and making it big in show business. The adventures of the newly organized group, The Rattoons, take readers into the underground world of Rat Hallow, Big City, and the Crystal as they chase their biggest dream for a chance to perform at the legendary Boom Boom Room. Their story offers a ground up view of New York City and some important lessons that they learn along the way. Author: Elizabeth Winthrop Illustrator: Betsy Lewin
Recommended by Janet Spaulding, Glendale Branch Library
Emmy is trying so hard to be good. Her parents are busy jet-setting all over the world in search of money and status while Emmy is left home alone with her cold and distant nanny Miss Barmy. Still, Emmy tries to be good. No one at school seems to like or care about Emmy either – not one person in the classroom seems to notice she exists at all. And yet Emmy STILL tries to be good. “She did her homework without being told. She ate all her vegetables, even the slimy ones. And she never talked back to her nanny, Miss Barmy, although it was almost impossible to keep quiet, some days. She really was a little too good. Which is why she liked to sit by the Rat. The Rat was not good at all . . .” The rat is Emmy’s classroom pet. He isn’t cute or cuddly, in fact, he’s a nasty little beast! Emmy can sometimes relate to the rat, because some days, she’d like to be a nasty little beast too!
One day, when the rat bites Emmy, she finds that she can actually hear what he is saying. As if the rat’s poor behavior isn’t bad enough, now she has to listen to his crabby complaining, pouting, bragging, and whining. His rotten attitude is hardly worth having this startling new power! Then the rat bites Joe, the class cool guy, who can now hear him speak too..and then he bites Joe again and shrinks him to the size of an action figure! What’s a good friend like Emmy to do but offer to get bitten a second time and shrink too? Now a few inches high, Joe and Emmy free the rat and begin an adventure to find out the source of the rat’s power and how to reverse it. Along the way, they get help from some new four legged friends and get on the trail of Emmy’s own Miss Barmy, who isn’t just cold and distant, she’s evil too!
The rat is definately the star in this one. His biting comments and sarcastic one-liners kept me laughing through the whole book. Emmy reminds me of Molly Moon from Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism. Both girls feel isolated, alone and unloved, yet they don’t give up on their search for friendship and happiness. Author: Lynne Jonell Illustrator: Jonathan Bean
Read Chapter One Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
This is one stray dog’s story of what life is like on the street. Born in a toolshed and separated from her mother and brother, Squirrel has to learn to fend for herself; crossing busy streets, staying warm, and fighting over the food in trash cans with other starving dogs. There are tricks to staying hidden, avoiding capture, finding food and places to sleep, tricks only a stray dog would know. Squirrel shares her insight into this secret life. Some of the things that happen to Squirrel are sad – and a little bit hard to read – but she continues to find her way in a world that doesn’t seem to want her. Take heart that there is, somewhere in the world, a human that needs a dog as much as Squirrel needs a real home. Author: Ann M. Martin