That Pesky Rat

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That Pesky Rat
That Pesky Rat (cover).jpg
Author Lauren Child
Illustrator Lauren Child
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Children's picture book
Publisher Orchard Books
Publication date
23 May 2002
Pages 32 pp
ISBN 978-1-84121-830-4
OCLC 48979470
LC Class PZ7.C4383 Th 2002[1]

That Pesky Rat is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Lauren Child and published by Orchard UK in 2002. It won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize in ages category 6–8 years[2] and it was commended runner up for the Kate Greenaway Medal from the professional librarians, recognising the year's best-illustrated British children's book.[3][4][a]

Candlewick Press published a US edition in the same year.[1]

In 2008 a special UNESCO edition was published in the UK. All author and publisher profits from this book now go to support UNESCO projects around the world.[citation needed]


The story is narrated by a rat who wishes he could live the life of a proper pet. He visits several friends who are proper pets, including a chinchilla and a cat. However, he doesn't like the way any of them live. In the end, he puts up signs, asking if there is any one who wants a rat as a pet, and goes to a pet store. He is finally taken home from the store by an old man with poor eyesight sees him in the display window and mistakes him for a cat. In the end, the rat says that he doesn't mind pretending to be a cat and that he likes his life as a pet.


  1. ^ Today there are usually eight books on the Greenaway shortlist. According to CCSU, some runners up through 2002 were Commended (from 1959) or Highly Commended (from 1974). There were 99 commendations of both kinds in 44 years, finally Child alone in 2002.


  1. ^ a b "That pesky rat" (first U.S. edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
  2. ^ Nestlé Children's Book Prize.
  3. ^ Press releases for the 2002 Awards (directory). CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  4. ^ "Kate Greenaway Medal". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2012-07-18.

External links[edit]

That Pesky Rat in libraries (WorldCat catalog) —immediately, first US edition