Illustrations: Axel Scheffler
Beware if you are out on the highway for along the highway rides the Highway Rat. The Highway Rat loves to steal travelers food, it doesn’t matter what, he just wants it. Then, as is wont to happen to baddies like him, he comes across someone a bit smarter. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next.
Okay I will say it, this is awesome. I didn’t read the author blurb on the back cover before reading the story and I was only a few stanzas in when I was transported back to a time I learnt a poem called ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. Donaldson says she was inspired by it and has kept true to its style – cadence and structure of the original. Of course the theme is is much more child friendly than the original, it is though a great take on the older poem. This version is filled with plenty of animals and silly goings on.
As always Scheffler’s distinctive illustrations fit the text perfectly, they are as fun and appealing as the text. It could also be a good way to interest young readers in poetry, though perhaps stick with something more child friendly than Noyes (my father was fond of Banjo Patterson).
Publisher: Alison Green Books
Published: 01 September 2011
Format: Hardback 32 pages
Categories: Poetry, Picture Books, Animal Stories
ISBN 13: 9781407124377