Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - A Rat’s Tale II: Escape from Rattovia

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review - A Rat’s Tale II: Escape from Rattovia

About the Book
 Heidi Jackson’s A Rat’s Tale II: Escape from Rattovia, the sequel to A Rat’s Tale: Pemba is Innocent,  continues the story of Pemba as she becomes Princess Pemba of Rattovia and must help defend herself, her family, and her kingdom from the attack of the Shady Greys, who seek to take control of Ratley Castle, Greater Rattovia, and the treasure of Greater Rattovia.
It offers an important message for children in the forging of unlikely friendships and alliances, teaching them not to judge someone by their appearance or differences, as these people may turn out to be their greatest friend and ally.  In A Rat’s Tale II, some of the rats’ greatest allies come from unlikely sources, including Elfian, who is a silver dragon, Lord Cleary, who is a ghost, and Roban, a rat who appears to be one of the Shady Greys by living in their midst, but defects and warns them of the dastardly plans for attack.

When an unexpected visitor named Roban arrives, he informs them that he has traveled very far to get to Rattovia to inform them of bad news; “There are some very bad rats out there.  They call themselves the Shady Grey race of Haldor.”  Roban informs them of the plan hatched by  the Shady Greys to overtake Rattovia and the dangers of their quest to conquer Rattovia and its treasure; “if they can lay their dirty paws on it, they may just be able to reign over the entire rat world.”

After this unlikely encounter, another ally steps forward to offer his help, a silver dragon named Elfian, whose first eggs were stolen by the Shady Greys.  His appearance is daunting, but overcoming preconceived notions the rats have about the dangers of dragons, he becomes their greatest aid.  With the help of Elfian, the fastest and most powerful of the silver dragons, they gather all of The Giant Rats, who are hiding in caves to escape the Shady Greys, “most of them very afraid.”  The giant “Mountain Rats” “happily left  their temporary mountain homes so they could go back to their real home, where they belonged.  They simply could not wait to reclaim their homes in the kingdom of Greater Rattovia.”

The most curious of all alliances is forged when King Alden is visited by a ghostly apparition, who informs him of his desire to help his cause; “A long time ago your father showed me a great kindness when I was in distress, and I want very much to repay this kindness by offering whatever help I can give you within my ghostly limit… We, the ghosts will help you all to win this battle.”  King Alden is shaken by the encounter, uncertain as to whether he should trust the vision; however, Queen Pemba expresses her pleasure that “so many past and present rats  would be there to help them,” not judging their allies, but showing gratitude towards them.

Although children are often taught about the ills of judging by appearances and holding prejudices, this is particularly important in a time when bullying is rampant and fear of differences is bred and fed by the news media.  While children in the past were often warned not to judge color and disabilities, today religion has come to the forefront as a source of prejudice among all Americans.  

While children are taught by the media to be distrustful of Muslims, it is important to realize that, like Roban, not all of a certain group believe in and support a cause.  A Rat’s Tale II teaches children at any early age that friendship and allies can come from many sources and many forms, and we must judge each person as an individual.

My Take on the Book 
This story is a new classic. You will be drawn into a new world that in many cases reminds me of The Secret of Nimh. The book though was fun and allowed my imagination to soar. I shared the book with my daughter and she just loved it. She actually was very excited to read this after reading the first book in the series. The characters in this book were fun and you really get a little bit of everything within the book itself, from a love story to action, mystery and intrigue, you get it all! 

This is a great, short book, that all families will enjoy

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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