Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonnel

I picked up a used copy of Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat at a Book Sale for only PhP60.00 (USD1.50). What caught my eye was definitely the cover art by Jonathan Bean .

I opened the book to see if there were more illustrations and was happy enough to see them along the top of each page. The illustration throughout the book wasn’t intrusive. There was just enough to keep the theme going, more would have made it a picture book for younger children. Here’s one of the interior pages (photo courtesy of Jonathan Bean’s website, no copyright infringement intended):


So who’s Emmy? She’s a very good girl. She and her parents used to live above a bookstore that her parents ran, but they became ultra rich overnight when a distant uncle they hadn’t known about left them all his money. They moved in to his big house and Emmy transferred to a better school. That would have been good news right? Not for long. Strangely enough, her parents began taking trips all over the world, leaving Emmy in the care of her nanny, Miss Barmy. In her new school, her classmates and teachers acted like she doesn’t exist most of the time.

This all made Emmy very lonely. Miss Barmy wasn’t someone she could befriend. She always wanted the girl to take weird concoctions, and insisted on her having to see the school guidance counselor regularly like something was wrong with her. And she was just plain weird.

Is there something wrong with Emmy? All school year long she swears she can hear the class rat talk. One day she stayed in the classroom during break time because she didn’t want to feel awkward all by herself in the school yard. And then the Rat started talking to her. Yes, she had a conversation with the Rat, and that was the beginning of a wild adventure. She makes friends, human and otherwise, and she finds out what Miss Barmy is really after.

Yes, there is magic in this story. Not the Harry Potter kind, mind you, but magic nonetheless.

It would be a really nice read for any adult into kid lit, and a wonderful one for young readers aged 9-12. Reading this book reminded me that children’s literature is my first love. Thank you Emmy and Rat for that reminder.

Honors received:

Booklist Editors Choice
Minnesota Book Award for Children's Literature
School Library Journal Best Books of 2007