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Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes    by Margaret Atwood & Dusan Petricic order for
Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes
by Margaret Atwood
Order:  USA  Can
Key Porter, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Margaret Atwood - author of The Blind Assassin, The Robber Bride and Alias Grace, and winner of the 1996 Giller Prize - brings us an energetic, even frenetic (I tried to think up an adjective beginning with "R", but I think she's used them all up) picture book that's a masterpiece of its kind. Keeping up with the author's roaring rapids of a pace is a challenge for any illustrator, but Dusan Petricic meets it brilliantly (I love his depiction of the repulsive repast).

It's a story of a friendship that develops across a great divide in lifestyles. Rude Ramsay resides in a 'ramshackle residence' with 'revolting relatives' who are riled with him on a regular basis. This causes him to race away, along with his friend 'Ralph, the red-nosed rat, a rubicund rodent.' One day they discover a 'resplendent realm', which is where they encounter the roaring radishes of the title, and also meet a small refined girl named Rillah. She would relish a rumpus, so Ramsay obliges. A fast friendship results, and Rillah, Ramsay and Ralph romp rapturously together 'under the radiant rainbow.'

Though Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes is a picture book, it seems most suitable to me for older kids, or younger ones who love deciphering new words. I enjoyed it very much myself, and recommend it to logophiles of all ages.

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