A to Z: R – Rotten Ralph’s Halloween

rotten ralphs halloween a

Rotten Ralph’s Trick or Treat 

Jack Gantos
Illustrated by Nicole Rubel
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986 

From the dust jacket, “Ralph is back, and he’s rotten as ever. And now it’s one of his favorite times of the year—Halloween!

“Wherever Sarah’s cat goes, there’s trouble. And there’s sure to be more when Sarah gets an invitation to a Halloween party that says, ‘Come as the thing you love best’. Of course Sarah must go as Ralph. And that means double trouble.

“Will Sarah’s friends ever forgive her? Will Sarah ever forgive Ralph? As always, Sarah’s love for Ralph shines through, and Ralph is always Rotten Ralph.”

This is the first Rotten Ralph book I’ve read and will likely be the last. It wasn’t the story so much as the illustrations. Or, maybe, it was both. I don’t like reading about ‘rotten’ cats – even if it’s funny and written for kittens. I know kittens can be rotten and they’ll get a kick out of reading about Ralph’s antics (goldfish in the punch bowl; popcorn flying all over the kitchen) but I didn’t really enjoy it. And, I didn’t like the illustrations of Ralph. He’s ugly – and not the ‘so ugly, he’s cute’ ugly. Just plain ugly. Maybe the author and illustrator wanted him that way because he is rotten. But cute kittens can be rotten, too. And I (as always) prefer my illustrated kitties to be cute, beautiful, or at the very least, ugly-cute. Ralph is none of those things and it sort of ruined to story for me.

The good point of the story is no matter how rotten Ralph was, no matter how much Sarah got mad at him and told him off, in the end, she still loves him and forgives him. And it’s that saving grace that didn’t get a super low rating from me. Every kitten (and adult) needs reminding now and then that no matter how rotten they are, their loved ones still love and accept them (even if they get sent to bed without any supper!)

Rating: 3 out of 5 paws – the main message of the story saves it from being in the bottom of the barrel of ratings!




Happy Halloween!!


We mailed out this postcard to our friends this year!! If you didn’t get one in the mail it’s because we didn’t have your snail mail address!!! (We’re sorry! If we had internet in the house – yes, we’re still fighting with the cable company – we would email a card to everyone!)  If you want to get a snail mail Christmas postcard, you can email us your snail mail address!!! 






Time for Friday Fill-ins!

0913aYippee! It’s time for Friday Fill-ins!!  First a disclaimer – can you BELIEVE mom didn’t take any NEW photos of me (or anyone else) this week (WHY? Mom. Why?) So we’ll be using old photos, but then any photo of me is a good photo!!! (I see I have Hercule Periot over my shoulder. I hope he doesn’t suspect me for a murder or something!!!)

On to the Fill-ins!

08311. The first thing I check when I go online is check out my blog. I want to see if everything is okay and it didn’t disappear for some weird reason. Then I go to emails!!

0282. My signature dish is well, I don’t have one. But Mom’s signature dish is banana pepper corn. She makes it once a year and takes it to Thanksgiving celebration.

halloween-toby3. My Halloween night is usually pretty quiet. It’s the only night of the year mom turns off the porch light to keep the million kids in our neighborhood from stopping by. She said if it was just me she’d welcome trick or treaters but having a house full of formerly feral cats means they all freak out at other humans and the constant knocking of the door and shouting of “Trick or Treak” would be too cruel. At least that what mom says. I think it would be fun to see all sorts of miniature humans.
pirate-day-a4. Trick or treaters see answer above. I wish mom would take me trick or treating!! I would dress up as a pirate!
I missed this last week’s Teaser from Sammy at OneSpoiledCat but I am proud to display the new Greenie badge!!
Thanks to 15andMeowing and McGuffy’s Reader for hosting today’s Fill-ins!!!
We’ll see you tomorrow for Caturday Art and Sunday for Sunday Selfies!! Mom won’t be online again until Monday so we won’t be able to link up on the linky things but please visit us any way!!!

toby-bHey! It’s not Caturday Art time! But mom got all artsy with a photo of me. She liked the play of lights and shadows so she wanted to get fancy!

toby-dThis is one of the  originals. She said she like the way I was casting a shadow along with the blinds on the office door.

toby-cThis is one of the photos made black and white.

1025eThis one is the black and white given the “Holga” effect – whatever that is!

1025fAnd this one is Halloween Creepy!!! I hope that’s not my ghost I’m looking at!!

I guess this is Caturday after all!!!! 

See you tomorrow for Friday Fill-ins!!!!