Saturday 15 July 2023

Ratbags: Best of Pests

Ratbags: Best of Pests by Tim Harris, illustrated by Shiloh Gordon (Puffin) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN9780143777472

It would be interesting to know how the author and illustrator work together to produce these books: it is necessary to read both written text and illustrations together in this mostly visual book. There are three ratbags: Ripple, Fancy Rat, and Onion, but Jigsaw is a polite, law-abiding rat.

The story starts outside Pecky’s Pizza, the best pizza place in the city where the rats get free pizza from the owner, Mr Pecky. This time Pecky also leaves a note with the pizza advising the rats to be careful. The rats find a newspaper with the heading, ‘Rat Problem Remains’, telling readers that a cutting-edge pest control unit has been brought in. This turns out to mean that rat traps with tempting peanut butter lures are scattered all over the ground near rubbish piles. Mr Pecky is also asked by the council not to give free pizza to rats as it encourages them.

Then a robot mink with laser eyes starts patrolling the streets. Will humans succeed with their latest scheme? Or can Jigsaw help the ratbags to be the best of pests?

This is a mostly visual book with appealing black, white and grey cartoon illustrations and plenty of different typefaces which is sure to be enjoyed by readers aged 8+ years. 

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