Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell
Emmy tried her hardest to be the best girl she could be. But no matter how perfect she was, her parents continued to go on longer and longer vacations, leaving Emmy with her nanny, Miss Barmy. Emmy misses her parent terribly, which is made worse by the fact that none of the children at school seem to notice her much less talk to her. Emmy’s life changes when she starts listening to the classroom rat speaking to her and she enters a world of strange rodents and danger.
The book is well-written and lots of fun with its unique and strange take on rodents. Emmy is a likable character, once the story gets going, and the other characters are equally well rendered. The villains are cardboard figures, taken to an extreme.
My main quibble with the book is the use of lucky chance as a way to move the plot forward. I would much have preferred some of the discoveries Emmy makes to be the result of sleuthing rather than happenstance.
That said, this is a book that could be used in classrooms as a read-aloud or for early-reading children. It is appropriate for those reading at an 8-10 year old level.