A Rat's Tale
Illustrated by Fred Marcellino | Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Montague Mad-Rat lives a solitary existence in the sewers of New York City. His only pleasures are scavenging in Central Park for feathers and berries for his mother, and painting the seashells his aunt brings him. But when he rescues the beautiful Isabel Moberly-Rat and escorts her home, he is introduced to a world he never knew existed. She lives on a wharf, in a spacious crate, among rats who look down on those—like him—who make things with their paws. Suddenly Montague is ashamed. So when he hears about the campaign to save the wharves from human destruction, he does all he can to help. But how much can one outcast rat do?

  • "Tor Seidler’s new book may mark a watershed in erasing anti-rat bigotry. Author of the highly praised Dulcimer Boy and Terpin, Mr. Seidler has written a tale filled with charm, humor, and an affable New York City sensibility. In Montague "Mad-Rat, the appealing hero of this coming-of-age tale, he has created a rat to stand alongside Stuart Little."
    - The New York Times Book Review
  • "Like Charlotte’s Web and The Wind in the Willows, Tor Seidler’s delightful new book is suffused with humor, pathos, and moral beauty."
    - The Washington Post Book World
  • "Seidler has a sure touch; his imagined world has the kind of entrancing reality found in The Cricket in Times Square or even Stuart Little. A feast for fantasy-lovers."
    - Kirkus (pointer)
  • "Beautifully told, Seidler’s fantasy never falters. A grand adventure . . . A superb book. Adults will appreciate its humor and biting social commentary, though the subtleties won’t be lost on young readers."
    - Publisher’s Weekly (boxed review)
  • "Not since Stuart Little has a rodent character so captured this reviewer’s imagination and heart . . . A tale told with such warmth, humor, and charm—accompanied by truly wonderful pencil drawings—that I hugged this book to me when the final page was read."
    - Children’s Book Review Service
  • "A Rat’s Tale may well do for rats what Charlotte’s Web has done for spiders. Children will love this book. It has all the proper elements: a complex and absorbing story, characters they care about and root for, and pictures they can look at over and over again with fresh delight and discovery."
    - Hilma Wolitzer, Newsday
  • "Move over Stuart Little. Make room for Montague Mad-Rat."
    - Redbook
  • "Although there is a good deal of adult satire here, Seidler’s story is nevertheless a well-paced adventure that will hook young readers into his meticulously created rodent world. His light word play and punning augment the story without interrupting its flow."
    - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • "A Rat’s Tale is a delightful, well-illustrated book that combines wit and fantasy."
    - Orlando Sentinel
  • "A lively, witty, exciting story."
    - Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • "Frequently satirical, especially of worthless dilettantes and pompous politicians, and clever in its use of language, the story is a study of the problems and rewards of nonconformity. It can be compared with A Cricket in Times Square. A Rat’s Tale is not, however, as sweet and ingenuous as that book, but more sophisticated and philosophical."
    - Horn Book