When Louie and Ralphie Ratso set out to transform a cluttered lot into an arcade, they end up conquering a few surprising fears along the way in this follow-up to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book The Infamous Ratsos.
Louie and Ralphie Ratso have a genius idea: if they clear out the lot down the street, they can use all the junk lying around to build makeshift games for a Big City FunTime Arcade! With their friends to help, they’ll be able to recycle all the old abandoned stuff into whack-a-mouse, a high-striker, a fortune-telling booth, and more. Everyone says the house next to the lot is haunted, but if Louie just pretends it’s not there, maybe he can ignore the goose bumps he gets every time he looks at it. Ralphie’s head’s not exactly in the game, either, because of some rumors that have been swirling around school. But they’re Ratsos, and like their dad, Big Lou, Ratsos aren’t afraid of anything — right? Kara LaReau and Matt Myers team up for a second surprisingly touching chapter book proving that sometimes the things you fear the most aren’t at all what you thought — and might be exactly what you need to feel better.
About the Author
Kara LaReau is the author of numerous picture books, as well as the middle grade novel The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Matt Myers is the illustrator of E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help from a Hen by Judy Sierra, and Pirate’s Perfect Pet by Beth Ferry, as well as many other books for young readers. Matt Myers lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Myers endows LaReau’s large type, well-leaded narrative with plenty of cartoons infused with humor (one of the Arcade games is a variant on “Whack-a-mole” dubbed “Whack-a-Chad”) and featuring an expressively posed, all-animal cast in human dress. The arcade’s triumphant opening adds an upbeat closing flourish to another tale for fledgling chapter book readers that highlights the profound value of kindness to others. —Booklist (starred review)
Readers will be following right alongside these two likable rats as Ralphie confronts his past misdeeds and Louie screws his courage to the sticking post to ask the haunted house's resident for permission to use part of the yard. Charming. —Kirkus Reviews
LaReau’s dialogue is fast-paced and funny, and the frequent black-and-white illustrations by Myers further develop the characters...A strong chapter book that will appeal to both newly independent and slightly older but reluctant or stuggling readers. —School Library Journal
Myers’s black-and- white illustrations not only move the plot along and give expressive faces to the animal characters but also conclude the tale on a light note with a couple of delightful puns. The relatable situations, familiar characters, progressive plot, and easy-to-read text (plus a little romance) create a satisfying follow-up to the Geisel Honor–winning The Infamous Ratsos (rev. 9/16). —The Horn Book
Short chapters with lots of cartoonlike pictures make this perfect for those starting to read chapter books. —Providence Journal