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Susan Meddaugh

174 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0395868335 / ISBN 13: 9780395868331
Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1997
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Attic Books & Records (Torrington, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First Edition. 32pp color-illustrated Hardcover. Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 1272

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


When is a rat not a rat? When Cinderella's fairy godmother turns him into a coachman - well, more of a coachboy. And what does the coachboy think of this sudden change in his life? He's delighted to find the open bags of grain in the castle larder. But soon enough, trouble begins. His sister, unchanged by the godmother's magic spell, scurries across the larder floor and is in danger of being stomped to death by the coachboy's newfound friend. How can he save her without revealing his secret? Life is full of surprises. Pumpkins turn into coaches and mice into horses, and an overworked wizard can create stranger magic than Cinderella's fairy godmother ever dreamed of. Susan Meddaugh uses her wit and animated artwork to give us a hilarious new take on an old tale in this story of an ordinary rat caught in extraordinary circumstances.


Sometimes even the most ordinary rat can experience the extraordinary. "I was born a rat. I expected to be a rat all my days. But life is full of surprises." So begins Susan Meddaugh's wonderfully understated, comically illustrated Cinderella's Rat. Life is no picnic for a rat, the rodent narrator is quick to point out: "Cats are plentiful and food is scarce." Blinded by hunger, he and his sister Ruth fall into an obvious trap. Just when they are making their escape, the narrator rat is magically transformed into a coachboy.

The next thing the rodent coachboy knows, a stern old woman is telling him to drive a girl to the castle in his pumpkin-like coach. Once at the castle, the coachboy, at heart still a rat, is drawn to the kitchen by the smell of food. The cook--spotting a good helper--instantly sends him down to the larder, where the rat-boy promptly dives into an open bag of grain. A castle-dwelling boy catches him in the act, and suggests that bread would perhaps taste better. They munch bread, side by side. Suddenly they see a rat! "KILL IT," shouts the castle boy. "STOP! THAT'S MY SISTER!" shouts the former rat. The coachboy fears discovery, and imminent ratribution, but a strange plot twist saves his skin. "Life is full of surprises, so you may as well get used to it," the book concludes, and we, as readers, are reminded that change--even transmogrification--isn't necessarily a bad thing. Meddaugh fans should not miss her critically acclaimed talking-dog books Martha Speaks, Martha Blah Blah, and Martha Calling. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

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