The Rat by Elise Gravel

Source: Tundra Books
Hardcover, 32 pages
On Amazon and on Kobo

The Rat (Disgusting Creatures) by Elise Gravel packs a lot of information in its pages and includes colorful images and punchy commentary.  My daughter enjoys looking at the fun pictures of the Rat, and some of the large words are easier for her to notice, which makes a teachable moment for her to learn new words.  While some of the information may be too much for kids in one sitting, after a few reads, kids will learn more an more about rats.  Other books in the series focus on flies, head lice, slugs, spiders, and worms.  Most kids are fascinated with bugs and creepy crawly things, probably because they are smaller and often within their field of view and touch, unlike birds and other animals.

Gravel’s images are fun, and it allows young readers to learn about the rat, his habits, and his behavior, as well as how important rats are to human research.  When the rat picks her nose with her tail, kids will laugh or say its disgusting.  It’s just one example of how these books can entertain readers as well as help them learn.  The Rat (Disgusting Creatures) by Elise Gravel is fun and informative, allowing young readers to learn new words and spellings, while also having fun with life’s more creepy creatures.

About the Author/Illustrator:

Elise Gravel is an award-winning author/illustrator from Quebec. She was the winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Illustration in French, and is well-known in Quebec for her original, wacky picture books. She has published a number of books with US publisher Blue Apple and is currently working on a graphic novel for Roaring Brook Press. Having completed her studies in graphic design, Elise found herself quickly swept up into the glamorous world of illustration. Her old design habits drive her to work a little text here and there into her drawings and she loves to handle the design of her assignments from start to finish. She is inspired by social causes and is likes projects that can handle a good dose of eccentricity.

57th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.


  1. stacybuckeye says

    Looks like fun!

  2. This looks cute! Glad Wiggles likes it.

  3. Beth Hoffman says

    The cover art is wonderful. It made me laugh! I love rats, they’re so smart.

  4. I am not a fan of rats but the cover illustration is pretty cool. My daughter’s friend rescues rats from the shelter. A lot of people turn their rat pets in. Not sure why, but they end up at this kid’s house and they creep me out with their red eyes and long tails!

  5. bermudaonion(Kathy) says

    I didn’t realize this book is non-fiction. We have neighbors who have pet rats and they creep me out! Wiggles is going to want one now!