cover image The Infamous Ratsos

The Infamous Ratsos

Kara LaReau, illus. by Matt Myers. Candlewick, $14.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7636-0

Louie and Ralphie Ratso are determined to be as tough as their truck-driver father, but the rats’ efforts go hilariously awry in this funny, thoughtful, and smart chapter book. In episodic escapades, they steal a classmate’s hat, make a new student a sandwich from the “worst foods they can find,” and soap a neighbor’s windows, only to be met with gratitude. “Pickled mushrooms and beets and eggplant, just like my nana used to make!” gushes gleeful sandwich recipient Fluffy Rabbitski. LaReau packs substantial comedy and poignant emotion into each chapter (the boys’ mother has “been gone for a little while now”), adeptly amplified by Myers’s spot art. Ages 5–8. [em]Author’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.) [/em]