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Back to School for Rotten Ralph Paperback – 12 Apr 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; New Ed edition (12 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064437051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064437059
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.2 x 21 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,822,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Afraid of being left alone, Rotten Ralph, the nasty red cat, follows Sarah to school and tries to prevent her from making new friends.

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Finally Sarah was ready to leave the house. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Explores sibling jealousy in a unique way 12 July 2000
By Nancy Parry McCluer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Here's a book about the first day of school that doesn't have the main character dreading her first day of school. On the contrary, Sarah is excited at the thought of making new friends.
But not everyone in the household is as happy for Sarah. In fact, Ralph, Sarah's rotten red cat, is doing everything he can to sabotage her school day: he sets back her clock, draws all over her new school dress and tries to trick her into staying home by faking an illness.
When Ralph gets the bright idea to follow Sarah to school, his antics get her in trouble and keep her from making new friends. Fans of Rotten Ralph--this is the ninth book in the series--know that all's well that ends well, but first-time readers may be a bit put off by Ralph, who seems just a tad too mean.
Rubel's chunky illustrations are colorful and bold. Her rendering of Ralph captures his true spirit right on the money...he's bright red with pointy ears and a devilish grin.
Gantos' book would be a good way to explore the jealousy that younger siblings might feel when an older brother or sister gets to try a new and exciting experience that they don't. Younger children might not recognize themselves in Rotten Ralph and his outrageous tactics, but I'm betting that parents will.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ralph Wrecks Havoc 12 May 2005
By M. Allen Greenbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: School & Library Binding
"Back to School for Rotten Ralph" has some of the most vivid, color-saturated illustrations I've seen recently. Nicole Rubel, one of my favorite illustrator/authors ("Cyrano the Bear," "A Cowboy Named Ernestine") draws busy backgrounds, reflecting Rotten Ralph's frenetic activity to keep Sarah from returning to school. It's not that the cat dislikes school; he just wants Sarah all to himself. The time-tested slapstick humor is very easy to understand. Ralph gives Sarah some trick soap and her newly washed face turns orange. Just behind her, so that all is perfectly clear, we see Ralph smiling mischievously, holding a package labeled "orange trick soap."

Ralph's sabotage is not subtle. He draws his face on Sarah's first-day-of-school clothes (and looks only slightly sorry when Sarah angrily informs him "that's not nice..."). He covers his face with whopped cream for that sick "foaming at the mouth" look. "Ralph," Sarah said with a smile, "you look strange, but you'll be alright."

When Sarah finally gets away and arrives at school. Ralph follows in a very unconvincing outfit (he doesn't cover his tail, for one thing!). Ralph's pranks just keep on coming. Some antics are right out of old comics and movies (e.g., tying Sarah's shoelaces together), but also show some malevolent imagination (putting stinky fish bones in Sarah's lunch, again depriving Sarah of the chance to make a new friend). Author Jack Gatos' dialogue is realistic, and Ralph's tricks are both silly and clever. Nicole Rubel's illustrations also help keep the humor fresh and interesting. She shows wide-eyed emotion, adds lots of action and detail, and uses vibrant colors. The foreshortened perspective increases the action, and brings Sarah and Rotten Ralph to the foreground.

Eventually Rotten Ralph's plan to isolate and conquer fails, but Ralph seems to enjoy new friends just as much as Sarah does. Sarah understands, in a way that Ralph probably won't, that his mean tricks are a convoluted way of expressing his love for her. This book is not only very funny and well illustrated, but it shows some complex friendship issues in an understandable, non-preachy way. Slightly older toddlers and early grade schoolers will relate to the feeling of wanting a friend all to one's self, and you can explore feelings and possible solutions with them. One of the best of the `Rotten Ralph' series; Gantos and Rubel have made a more sophisticated yet humorous and engaging book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Rotten Ralph Teaches an Important Lesson 3 Oct. 2009
By D. Davidson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read some other reviews of the Rotten Ralph books, and there were some that were negative because of exactly how rotten Ralph's behavior is (thinking that kids would not recognize it was not the role model). But there is a strong lesson in these stories that was missed... no matter how bad Ralph's behavior is, there is a clear message that no matter what, there is nothing he can do that will make his people family love him less. That's an important thing for kids to know... that no matter how badly they mess up, their family will always love them and want them and help them to do better. There are second chances, and even a little remorse and attempts at improved behavior on Ralph's part.

The children I've read this to absolutely LOVE it... I think they feel a little better about their own bad behavior when it stacks up next to Ralph. But the strong message is that consistent love can overcome a lot of bad stuff and make the world a better place.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rotten Ralph is My Favorite! 24 Oct. 2008
By Ms. Judith A. Furnari - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I Love Rotten Ralph! I have been working in libraries for quite some time. I was elated when I discovered my pal Ralph as an adult. I was also shocked to discover that most people do not know about him. I didn't either while growing up. Ralph has been around since the 1970's. All of the old school library ladies that I knew never ordered Rotten Ralph books because they just didn't get it! Rotten Ralph is just good fun. Ralph doesn't mean to be Rotten. He gets carries away like many children do. Also, no matter what Sarah loves him anyway. Isn't that the best moral of all for children? Children need to know that we may not like what they do but we still can love them. Ralph is just cool.
We love Rotten Ralph! He is so rotten! 14 Mar. 2014
By DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rotten Ralph, we love you. You make us laugh and my kids think you're such a pest, they are shocked at what you do to poor Sarah but they giggle and giggle. Please continue to pester the whole world!
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