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The Highway Rat
on 27 August 2011
This book was inspired by the poem, "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. The Highway Rat was a 'baddie' and a 'beast' - he robbed all the animals of their food, even his own horse of his hay. Eventually, all the animals are thin and hungry and the Highway Rat was 'horribly fat'. Then, when he tries to rob a duck she has nothing to steal, so he decides to eat her. The quick thinking duck tricks him, and takes his loot to share with her friends.
The text of the book obviously takes time to become familiar, but it is a nice story, with a good message and the illustrations are excellent. Like all Donadson's books, the text reads like a song or poem and asks to be read aloud. My children particularly liked the Gruffalo biscuits in the cake shop at the end, but there is more to this author/illustrator team than the Gruffalo, as beloved as those books are. I have a feeling that this will also become a favourite bedtime story given enough readings.