Daily Archives: January 23, 2008

Books to celebrate The Year of the Rat


Yesterday was a particularly busy day for visitors here at Shelf Elf. At first I thought it was due to the tremendous cleverness of my posts, and my general charm, but then I noticed that the top search that led people to my blog was: THE YEAR OF THE RAT. (Thank you Grace Lin).

So to acknowledge the upcoming celebration of Chinese New Year (and to satisfy those “Year of the Rat” searchers), here are a few books that are timely and/or rat-inspired:

The Year of the Rat – Grace Lin (I loved this book – and its companion, The Year of the Dog. Check out my review here).

Bringing in the New Year – Grace Lin

My Chinatown – Kam Mak (This book has the most stunning illustrations. My students could not believe that they were not photographs. A lovely look at life in Chinatown).

Moon Beams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats – Nina Simonds (Many fun activities to tie into the New Year’s celebration).

Rats! The good, the bad and the ugly – Richard Conniff

Oh Rats! The Story of Rats and People – Albert Marrin (A cool look at the history of rats. Boys especially get a kick out of this one).

The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley – Colin Thompson (Funny, thought-provoking picture book, about what really matters in life, and how Riley the rat has it all figured out).

I dedicate this post to the lovely rat living in one of the Kindergarten classrooms at school. She has some kind of neurological thing that makes her bob her head up and down almost non-stop like a little real-life rat bobble-head doll. She seems happy enough, but I want to steal her away from all of the crazy kindies and call her my very own. Must check with the Siamese boss first.