'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Review: Ratbags: Take Flight

Take Flight is the fourth Ratbags adventure by Tim Harris and Shiloh Gordon, and it's holiday time! 

The rats are off to Scum Island via a long boat trip. When they get there they find a hotel and check-in experience that only rats could appreciate.

Beach games, the pool, and a nap are on the agenda, followed by a delicious dinner. The next day the rats start touring the island. 

There's lots to see, but only Jigsaw seems to have taken any notice of the falcon warnings.

Falcons are a danger because they're always after a tasty meal. But when Fifi the falcon finally makes an appearance, it's not just the rats who need to look out. Crackers the cat has followed them to Scum Island, and Fifi likes the look of him, too.

Should the rats help Crackers? Jigsaw explains the hierarchical chain of nature to the Ratbags (and the reader), but there's disagreement about the right thing to do. When we catch up with Fifi, things are not all as they seem, and escaping the falcon will not be as easy as the rats think. Who will come out on top? Rats, cat, or falcon? 

The story is full of jokes which play on words, and still fit the context of a story about rats. Picture the 'Grand Can-yon' as a giant wall of old cans piled high. And the 'Great Wall of China' as a long line of stacked china tea cups. There's also great use of perspective to build tension and show things as the rats might experience them.

Ratbags: Take Flight is yet another action-packed, funny adventure for young readers. And it comes with a step-by-step guide at the back of the book about how to draw a picture of Jigsaw.

Title: Ratbags: Take Flight
Author: Tim Harris
Illustrator: Shiloh Gordon
Publisher: Puffin, $ 14.99
Publication Date: September 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761340505
For ages: 6+
Type: Graphic Novel