When some older boys persuade Ralphie the Roach to venture beyond the boundaries of Roachtown to retrieve some jellybeans, Ralphie rises to the occasion and begins his perilous mission.
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Supermodels Porizkova and Russell, along with Porizkova's stepson, have produced an all-around amateurish effort. Ralphie's family lives in Roachtown, a teeming metropolis behind a shelf in an empty New York City house. One day, their scuttling and scavenging are halted by the arrival of two humans, Hedda and Helmut Horrible. Ralphie's subsequent efforts to save Roachtown from extermination and the Horribles' eventual departure form the bulk of this ponderous, pretentious first book. Cockroaches are ipso facto an unappetizing subject; the authors' self-conscious, pseudo-hipster style does nothing to alter that fact. Ralphie--whose friends call one another "dude" and "man"--dispatches a bottled SOS to the roaches of the world, a trick he'd read about in Roachinson Crusoe. The heavyhanded denouement, in which countless avenging roaches mass in the Horribles' kitchen, will certainly cause queasiness. Otcasek's illustrations, in blacks, browns and muddy reds, are no more attractive than the (overlong) text. In would-be downtown surrealism featuring huge closeups, he shows us unpleasantly featured characters (both humans and insects are equally disagreeable) totally lacking in kid appeal. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grade 3-4-- Ralphie is one of a family of roaches whose ancestors escaped from a sinking Spanish ship and sailed to New York on a pirate's wooden leg. They all have lived in a small wooden house on State Street for "hundreds of years." Now a human couple, the Horribles, have moved in and are waging war on the insects. Ralphie gets a friend to send a message to all the roaches in the world, and thousands from every country come to help; the Horribles, overwhelmed by the numbers, leave, and Ralphie and his friends throw a big party to celebrate. The illustrations are garish and awkward. Odd perspectives, grotesque humans, and anthropomorphized roaches all scream for attention on the right side of every double page spread. On the verso, dense, widely spaced black text fills from half to all of the page. The authors fall victim to weak and shallow characterization, cutesy jokes, and mediocre writing. Readers will be driven to look for a large can of Raid. --JoAnn Rees, Sunnyvale Public Library, CA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Doubleday, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110385424027
Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0385424027 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1059852
Book Description Doubleday, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Adam Otcasek (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0385424027