Putting materialism in its place is a fine lesson for children to learn, especially during these difficult economic times. Rather than becoming attached to their favorite toys, children ages 4-8 will learn the benefit of sharing with others in Vickie J. Belmore and Corey Hoover’s book, Paul The Pack Rat.
Paul, who is literally a rat, can never have enough possessions. He collects radios, alarm clocks, beach towels and games. The other animals invite Paul to a potluck, but he turns them down because he doesn’t believe in sharing. On the day of the event, bunnies appear on Paul’s doorstep asking to borrow toys. Of course, he slams the door. He won’t even allow the squirrels to borrow a piece of chalk.
While Paul is on vacation, a storm hits his town. The animals spot storm damage at his house, but he has so secured his home that they can’t get inside. When Paul comes back, he’s heart-broken. All of his things have suffered water damage. The animals kindly comfort Paul, and he learns that friendship is more important than material possessions.
Through using basic words in an ABCB rhyming scheme, the authors have found a simple way to present an important lesson. Paul Ciaravino’s colorful illustrations lend an emotional component to the book. Even parents will feel sorry for Paul after seeing Ciaravino’s work.
Considering the state of the world today, Paul The Pack Rat is a relevant book and good teaching tool for parents and teachers alike.