REVIEW: Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy #1) by Lynne Jonell

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Genre: Children’s Fiction, Pages: 352, Reading Level: Easy

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

“Emmy was a good girl. At least she tried very hard to be good. She did her homework without being told. She ate all her vegetables, even the slimy ones. And she never talked back to her nanny, Miss Barmy, although it was almost impossible to keep quiet, some days.

She really was a little too good. Which is why she liked to sit by the Rat. The Rat was not good at all . . .

Hilarious, inventive, and irresistibly rodent-friendly, this is a fantastic first novel from acclaimed picture book author Lynne Jonell.”


Emmy lives in a mansion with her parents. Well, not exactly with her parents. Emmy’s parents are very shallow and take lots of long trips without her, leaving her in the care of her nanny, Miss Barmy. Miss Barmy is very strict with Emmy, makes her participate in lots of extra-curricular activities, controls everything she eats and gives her lots of herbal supplements. Emmy is not exactly shy, but no one seems to remember her or even know she exists, including her classmates and teacher. Something strange is going on. Then one day she notices that the classroom pet rat is talking, and only she can hear it. Emmy begins to realize that there are a lot of strange things going on around her and Miss Barmy may be connected to them all.

My daughter enjoyed the book well enough and looks forward to reading the next one in the series. I was a bit underwhelmed and admit that a couple of times, I fell asleep while my daughter was reading. I guess it’s good for kids, especially those who enjoy books about animals. If they enjoyed Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH, they would probably enjoy this book. However, I was not all that into it. There were some parts that kept my interest and surprised me, but most of it was just average, although I really liked the ending. So it’s got that going for it.

To recommend or not to recommend, that is the question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good answer. It’s cute. It’s a mystery. It is not full of car chases and explosions. Maybe it is best as a book that is read aloud by the parent to a second or third grader.

Reviewed by Christina

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