My family had an eclectic collection of pets growing up: birds, horses, bunnies, dogs, lizards, cats, you name it. Granted, we didn’t have them all at once, but we did go through many different species. One pet that belonged to my brother was a fat rat. He was loved and well fed.
I’ve recently noticed more and more rodent protagonists popping up in children’s literature. This development made me think of my brother as a little boy and how he would have loved more picture books featuring the underrepresented population of rodents. So, this post is dedicated to those rodent loving kids out there.
By Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan
Illustrated by Catherine Lazar Odell
Featured Rodent: Beaver
Little Beaver doesn’t want to build his dam. That’s too much of a chore. He would much rather go out and play with the other animals. Will he ever finish building his dam so that he can play?
CYRIL AND PAT
By Emily Gravett
Featured Rodent(s): Squirrel and Rat
Cyril is the only squirrel at the park. That is, until Cyril meets Pat! They do everything best friends do. Eat, play games, skateboard, but then Cyril finds out that Pat isn’t a squirrel. Will their friendship survive?
SNICKERDOODLE TAKES THE CAKE
By Ethan Long
Featured Rodent: Chinchilla
When Snickerdoodle wakes up, he’s excited to find a cake on the table. However, there is also a note that says, “Do Not Touch.” Will Snickerdoodle be able to withstand the temptation? Or will he find a way to bend the rules?
THE TALL MAN AND THE SMALL MOUSE
By Mara Bergman
Illustrated by Birgitta Sif
Featured Rodent: Mouse
Tall Man and the Small Mouse both live in the same tall house. However, Tall Man has never seen Small Mouse and Small Mouse has never seen Tall Man. They go about their separate lives until they unexpectedly meet. Can Tall Man and Small Mouse live together now that they know about each other?
By Andrea Zuill
Featured Rodent: Naked Mole Rat
Sweety is a unique Naked Mole Rat. She likes collecting fungi, interpretive dance, and much more. Others think she’s a little strange, and it can be hard for Sweety to make friends. But a visit from her aunt helps her see that it’s ok to be different.