Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People (Dutton, 2006)

Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People

Albert Marrin

Weaving science, history, culture, and folklore, Albert Marrin welcomes you to the fearsome, fascinating world of these astonishing champions of survival—RATS. The book is illustrated with lithographs by C. B. Mordan.


Rats and humans have had a very long love/hate relationship as readers discover in this lively and informative overview of the history and behavior of the widely encountered rodent. Marrin offers both anecdotal accounts of human/rat encounters and impressive statistics. Rats have occupied the earth far longer than human, and they compete prodigiously for the world’s food supply, earning their reputation as major pests to humankind. . . The nine short chapters are set in a handsome slim book with striking black and white scratchboard illustrations and muted red framing on many pages. Marrin touches briefly on physical characteristics as he explains the veneration of rats in some cultures, attempts to eradicate them in others, and rats as both carriers of disease and valued subjects of medical research. It’s a different sort of discussion and format for this well-known historian and biographer and one that he has clearly enjoyed, as will a wide variety of nonfiction readers and animal fans. There’s a bibliography of adult sources and children’s nonfiction as well as a listing of literary works featuring rats.

—School Library Journal

"Oh, Rats!" is just purely factual fun. A non-fiction title that kids can enjoy, parents can enjoy, and anyone who's ever wondered about rodentia proper can appreciate. Even people like myself who thought they knew all there was to know about the nasty critters will find themselves time and time again shocked and delighted by all the facts Marrin was able to relate. Kid-friendly, very pleasant on the eye, and just a delight through and through, [it is] a top notch presentation from a top notch author/illustrator team.

—Amazon Review