321. Rats on the Roof and Other Stories by James Marshall

Rats on the Roof and Other Stories by James Marshall. (US) - (Canada)

Pages: 79
Ages: 7+
Finished: Nov. 23, 2012
First Published: 1991
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (my copy Troll Associates)
Genre: early chapter book, short stories, animal fantasy
Rating: 3/5

First sentence: "Otis and Sophie Dog had just tucked themselves in for the night when the sound of little dancing feet and shrill musical instruments reached their sleepy ears."

Publisher's Summary: "An illustrated collection of seven stories about various animals, including a frog with magnificent legs, a hungry brontosaurus, and a mouse who gets married."

Acquired:  Purchased a used copy at a thrift shop

Reason for Reading:  Ds read aloud to me for his reader.

This is a fun collection of seven apparently previously unpublished short stories.  Each features animal characters and is humorous in nature.  Some are better than others but all give a chuckle and a grin.  Neither of us found any of them extraordinary, but ds did enjoy figuring out the punch line and then anticipating the revelation that he'd been right all along.  This book was deceptively much harder to read than it looked and ds needed much help with it.  The stories included are:

Rats on the Roof - Mr and Mrs Dog are continuously awoken each night by rats on their roof but when they try to hire a cat for help the rats end up getting the last word.

The Sheepish Tale - Two sheep walk up a mountain posted with signs warning of the dangers of wolves.  Neither can read but one pretends he can and guides them into danger by making up plausible things for the signs to say.  This was funny.

The Mouse Who Got Married - A mouse wedding is invaded by a cat and we learn the bride is more than expected.

Eat Your Vegetables - A brontosaurus is eating the leaves on owl's tree and refuses to stop eating her home so she calls in her friends for help.  This one is very short compared to the others.

Swan Song - A fox is after a swan and he enlists the help of a cow in hiding by becoming her hat but he must prove to the fox how much smarter than he, he is and ends up being more of a silly goose.  I thought this was cute!

Ooh-La-La - A frog is very vain about his attractive legs mentioning them to everyone he meets until he learns via a French Poodle that some enjoy frog's legs for more than their beauty!

Miss Jones - The longest story in the book and the one ds liked the most.  Miss Jones, a goose, gets to know her new neighbours who profess to be canaries, but are in truth wolves.  She's never actually seen them, only talked through the door and in the shadows.  But when she gets invited for Christmas dinner she helps with the meal preparations and it isn't until she is at the table that she realizes she is to be the main course.  But Miss Jones is too clever to end up being the Christmas goose, though!


  1. I think my son would have liked this when he was younger. We used to read a lot of books with short stories.

  2. I like the idea of short stories for early readers because they are just right for their attention spans.


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