Praise for Bad Rats!

  • Benjamin Franklin Award WINNER —
    Best Children's Book & Audiobook set
  • 2008 Book Of The Year Award Finalist
  • IndieBound Fall 2008 Pick for the Kids' Indie Next List

“While the professor intends to school his pupils in darkness and deliberation, he learns much from his innocent charges, who teach him about the beauty of imagination. The over-the-top performance [on the dramatic audio CD] relishes the professor’s villainy and the student rodents’ sweetness in a way sure to charm creative dreamers of every stripe.”


View Full Review

“In thoughtful prose, Drachman (Leo the Lightning Bug) delivers readers to a school for Bad Rats… Sepia and gray tones predominate in Muscarello's illustrations, softly rendered in charcoal, ink and watercolor; but his muted palette gives way to color as the mood of the text changes….the extensive dialogue lends itself to Drachman's considerable talents as a performer.”

—Publishers Weekly

View Full Review

“This book…has a clear message about celebrating individuality. The [audio] production is nicely done, and children will enjoy listening to the slightly wordy text while perusing the soft pastel illustrations by James Muscarello.”

—School Library Journal

View Full Review

“In a story with a message about the value of creativity, Eric Drachman
narrates unobtrusively...authoritative and imperious...An original musical
score adds vitality to a fun production with a message.”

—AudioFile Magazine

View Full Review

“The simple, expressive illustrations support the book's central question:
is life without imagination or creativity really a life?...The book and CD
would be a good introduction to the nature of individual expression and
creativity in a preschool or early elementary school environment.”

-Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

View Full Review

“The story should resonate with little ones constantly reined in for their own safety. And the triumph of self-expression and the will to risk everything for art are exhilarating.”

—The San Francisco Chronicle

View Full Review

“…lovely artwork, fun music and narration on the CD. In all, a very entertaining book and one for all ages.”


View Full Review

“This story about a group of 'bad rats' who aspire to be artists is truly inspiring.”

—Indy's Child

View Full Review

“This is a charming book for young children.”

—MetaphsychologyView Full Review

“Bad Rats is a fantastic book that is sure to make you laugh with its soft, charming illustrations by James Muscarello. Drachman has you feeling for the little rats immediately. Beware though, it'll surely pull on your heartstrings as the story progresses and you realize how special each little rat is.”

—Picket News

View Full Review

From School

       & Library Professionals:

(For full reviews, visit The Picnic Basket)

“ I am already a fan of using Eric Drachman's books in my Media Center, so I was excited to read and listen to Bad Rats. Like characters in his other books, the young characters in this book struggle with being different from what they are "supposed" to be. In the end, they learn that being different is good - if not exceptional!”

—Jennifer Samec, Media Specialist
Birchview Elementary School, Plymouth, MN

“One look at the cover and I immediately started reading Bad Rats aloud to my fellow librarian. We fell in love with Bad Rats and have agreed that the first group of elementary kids who visit us will listen to Bad Rats. What a joy to read and share!”

—Lana Voss, Manager, Children’s Dept.
Tulsa City-County Library System, Tulsa, OK

“Bad Rats is a delightful book and the audio is fantastic. I also highly recommend the audio slide show online. The analogy of Professor Perimeter and what we sometimes do to our children by giving them so many dos and don'ts that it is great to be reminded to embrace the creativity and song. I plan on using it in class to encourage my students' creative writing pieces as well as to embolden them to reach for the stars.”

—A. Hunt, Language Arts Teacher
Fort Walton Beach, FL

“Bad Rats is adorable. I love the recording—it adds so much to the story experience. I love the pictures. Who would have dreamed that rats could be so cute? I am going to share this with our art coordinator as a perfect example of using color to create mood. Recommend without reservation. My students and I will be picnicking with this story next week!”

—Angie O., Teacher Librarian
San Antonio, TX

“The audio CD that accompanies this book is a treat. The voices and original musical score are perfectly suited to the characters and bring the story to life. This book would make a fantastic addition to any picture book collection and could easily be presented as a storytime read-aloud.”

—Sam Maskell, Youth Services Librarian
Bellows Falls, VT

“I found the story of not just Josiah and Priscilla but the Professor's to be one I could find my own story in and that's good storytelling. I love a transformation that's one so many can relate to and here we have it. I plan to use Bad Rats as a teaching text for showing just that. The illustrations are simple and add just the right touch to a picture book experience with a message such as this one.”

—Jacquie Leighton,

English and Language Arts teacher
Hancock, Maine