I guess that’s my challenge for this particular book. Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat is readable enough, mostly enjoyable, and I liked it a lot. That I got it for the equivalent of one dollar at a secondhand bookshop with the inside pages in near mint condition and the dust jacket passable was an added bonus. Sometimes, things I got so cheap have their own charm. It’s like finding a treasure at the most unlikely of places and for me, these treasures are books — The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, Einstein’s Dreams, Pobby and Dingan, Sting’s memoir Broken Music, U2 by U2, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Court of the Stone Children and French Women Don’t Get Fat, all these I got for less than 5 dollars each in good, sometimes near-mint, condition.
But this book? It proved to be a challenge as far as writing this post is concerned because, well, it screams leptospirosis. I mean, how does one connect a book that discusses the magical power of rats to everyday sustenance?
There was a knock on her door. “Come in,” Emmy called, and Maggie entered, carrying a plate of milk and cookies.
“Wow.” Emmy looked at the chocolate wafers with crème filling. “What’s the occasion?”
“Miss Barmy insisted on sending up snacks.” Maggie, smiling, set the plate down on Emmy’s bedside table. “Better hurry, now. Your parents are waiting.”
Maggie whisked out. Emmy stared at the plate. And then slowly, carefully, with a slight twisting motion, she lifted the top wafer off one of the cookies.
There, slightly blurred in the crème filling, was the imprint of a rat’s foot.
Milk tastes good. Cookies taste good. Together, they’re the stuff Christmas eve is made of. But tell me honestly that the passage quoted above made you want to grab some milk and cookies. (I’m truly sorry, Santa Claus; this isn’t your book, dude.)
The thing this book did is remind me of the cheese rolls my grade school and high school friends and I used to eat during recess. (The book mentions potato rolls that were infested with some rat’s magical powers — and not in a good way.) The cheese rolls weren’t extraordinarily tasty (just regular rolls with cheese in the middle) but they were served practically every day and quickly became our comfort food.
I don’t think the potato rolls in this book will become anyone’s idea of comfort food, though. But don’t worry; the fun this book provides makes up for your lack of appetite while reading it.
I think I’m hungry now.