Jonell, Lynne. 2007. Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat. Art by Jonathan Bean.
"Emmy was a good girl. At least she tried very hard to be good."
It continues, "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. Of course no one can keep this kind of thing up forever. But Miss Barmy had told Emmy that if she were a good girl, her parents would probably want to see her more often: so Emmy kept on bravely trying. So far it hadn't helped." (1)
This might have been a very dull story. Really. If Emmy had kept on being good. Kept on trying. Kept on striving. Fortunately, for the reader. Emmy chose to listen to a Rat. Not just any rat, mind you, though appearances can be deceiving. She met The Rat in school; he was the class pet. One day he tells her, "Try being bad for once. You might like it." (4) (Yes, he tells her. A talking rat. That shouldn't really surprise anyone, right?)
This book is most unusual. But it's fun. It's smart. It's funny. It's magical. This is just a fun little fantasy for anyone and everyone who's a kid at heart. And there's a sequel. I'll be getting to that one soon I hope!
© Becky Laney of Young Readers