Rats!

I’ve always liked rats and mice. I was indoctrinated young, raised on Disney, and Hollywood’s apparent pro-rodent agenda has completely brainwashed me. It’s a wonderful luxury when you think about it. I imagine in other places of the world rodents may directly threaten someone’s livelihood or cause horrible sanitation problems.

But I hit it big in cosmic roulette so I am free to enjoy the anthropomorphizing of the lowly rodent.

The library has a lot of cool stuff to help us get behind rats and mice.

index.aspx

Up first is a classic, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Real rat fans will call me a fink for not knowing about this book until recently. I had seen and loved the animated film adapted from this book, Secret of NIMH, but I had not known about the book until I happened upon it in the library. The movie made several large alterations from the original story. The book doesn’t have any magic stones and Nicodemus is not some sort of wizard in the original. All in all, the changes made it a more interesting read. I enjoyed the more realistic take of the book. Like a lot of great children’s literature, the book is very deep and makes an older reader ford some deep waters while grappling with issues of sentience and survival.

And the movie of course.

index-1.aspx

Dom DeLiuse kills as the crow Jeremy. The traditional animation is top notch but parents should be a little cautious. This film is a bit violent and maybe a little too scary for younger kids. The rats are really, really cool.

redwall

Brian Jacques is the undisputed king of rodent fiction. Beginning in 1986 with Redwall, Jacques has penned well over two dozen books set in a fantasy world stocked with talking mice, rats, badgers, etc…

mouse

David Petersen’s Mouse Guard combines some of the best elements of Jacques and O’Brien to create a darker fantasy world where the mice live in a constant state of siege. The illustrations are stunning. Petersen depicts nature and the seasons so well I can almost smell the dead leaves when reading the first collected volume of the series, Mouse Guard Fall 1152. If you only read one graphic novel about talking mice defending their homeland this year then this should be it. Seriously though, this book is awesome. There are some gorgeous panels depicting a desperate battle with mouse against crab.

dark

Another fresh take on the genre is Robin JarvisThe Dark Portal. Set in the small and dark places of London’s underbelly, this novel features occult elements and some epic apocalyptic battles. The trilogy continues with The Crystal Prison and then finally, The Final Reckoning.

But I am terrified of rats and mice, you say.

CLP has that covered too.

Sky

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

7 responses to “Rats!

  1. lizzy

    Had forgotten about Mrs. Frisby! Thanks for the reminder. This also made me think of the movie Ben from the 70s (I think Michael Jackson sang the theme song)….pretty creepy.
    My favorite anthropomorphism book, though, is Watership Down.

  2. In The Nutcracker ballet by Tchaikovsy, there’s a wicked Mouse King (and his wicked mice followers!) in a very dramatic section of the story.

  3. Jackie

    Sky:
    Once again, I find your comments on target. My kids have enjoyed the “Secret of NIMH” and “Redwall” for years. Dom DeLiuse rocks as Jeremy! Long live rats!

  4. Sky

    Watership Down is a giant omission. I should have squeezed that one in there. I remember Ben too, and Willard. They re-made Willard with Crispin Glover. I haven’t seen it yet but that certainly seems like a good casting choice. The Mouse King sounds awesome!

  5. Flowers for Algernon was another mouse book I enjoyed when younger

  6. I will have to check out some of these Rat stories. LIke yourself, I saw the Secret of Nimh, but never heard of Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

  7. maylawinter

    I read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH about a year ago…and loved it! I will have to put this book in my next Suggested reading post as it is also one of my favorite books(although I have countless favorites!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s