It's all very peaceful in the tiny town of Hamelin until one day the streets and houses are invaded by an army of rats, swarming everywhere, climbing towers, ringing bells and even drinking beer from the innkeepers' jugs!
The townspeople try everything they can think of to get rid of the rats, but nothing works. Then a young musician comes to town, promising that he will rid the town of the rats in return for three bags of gold coins. The musician keeps his end of the deal, but the greedy mayor doesn't. What will happen now?
Rubio's illustrations are beautiful, imbuing not only the musician and townsfolk with personality but even each individual rat. The story is slightly changed from the traditional version, which saw the Piper lure away the children of the town never to be seen again. This is a gentler, more collaborative tale, with the Piper and the children working together to teach the adults a lesson. Purists may not like it, but perhaps it's a good introduction for the very young, who can then discover the original when they're a little older!
Title: The Pied Piper
Author/Illustrator: Ayesha L. Rubio
Publisher: The Five Mile Press, $19.95
Publication Date: September 2016
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book