Cheese Belongs to You! — Perfect Picture Book Friday

30 Jan

Instead of chocolate, I’m nibbling a piece of cheese for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. But it’s not my cheese because “RAT LAW says that if you’re a rat, cheese belongs to you.”


Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.56.07 PM

Rat cannot believe his luck!


“a BIG rat wants it. Then cheese belongs to him.

Unless a BIGGER rate wants it. Then cheese belongs to her.”

And so the story goes, adding “quicker rat,” “stronger rat,” followed  by “scary rat,”  “hairy rat,” and “dirty rat,” then “dirty, hairy rat” and “dirty, hairy, scary rat…”

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 10.31.37 PM

You get the point. The biggest, baddest rat and then mob of rats get the cheese. (Oh, Mike [HeyLookAWriterFellow], how can you adore these winner-take-all creatures? Well, I suppose Lucy was a special case.)

The illustrations in red and black pencil serve as a hilarious backdrop for a luscious wedge of golden cheese, the spoils of rat war.

How does rat war end? Let’s just say there’s a bit of sharing involved, if rat knows what’s good for him.

This playful reminder about sharing is bound to be popular with the preschool and young elementary school set.

I even love the end papers, white polka dots on yellow background.

Title: Cheese Belongs to You!

Author: Alexis Deacon

Illustrator: Viviane Schwarz

Publisher: Candlewick

Pub date: 2013


I’ll be saying a few words in the not-too-distant-future about  Brown Girl Dreaming, the National Book Award Winner by Jacqueline Woodson. Stay tuned….

31 Responses to “Cheese Belongs to You! — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. dkatiepowellart January 30, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    I guess I am a rat, or at least French, because even when dieting goat cheese is on my list!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Better protect that cheese when other rats come calling!

  2. Carrie Rubin January 30, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    What a great way for young kids to learn adjectives. And apparently rat hierarchy, too!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Yes, the adjectives just keep getting bigger and tougher and rougher. They also learn about mob action (as it applies to rats and other uncivilized creatures like small children) and how a little bit of sharing can defuse the situation. 😀

  3. susanissima January 30, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    My little grandboy, r, would love this!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      oh, yes! Even at age 11, my son thinks this is a hoot. He really loves the illustrations.

  4. FictionFan January 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    I think it’s really rude to call people… er… I mean rats, dirty and hairy just because they’re partial to a bit of cheese! And as for sharing – HANDS OFF!!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

      Wait! I thought you were only possessive about your chocolate! Or was it chocolate cheesecake?

      • FictionFan January 30, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

        Mmmm…I’d reply but it’s rude to speak with your mouth full…

  5. Letizia January 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    The drawings of the rats are so cute (for rats…) and original!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

      Yes, you could almost call them loveable. Almost. I agree. This book is clever and original.

  6. julie rowan zoch January 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    This is such a fun book! Great pick!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Julie! It is quite a fun read aloud.

  7. Patricia Tilton January 30, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    This sounds like a very clever and humorous book. Great review.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      It is, Patricia! It’s one of those that holds up reading after reading, especially when you can find new things to look at each time in the illustrations.

  8. lucyrat January 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    Sharing is for suckers, hippie!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 30, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

      From out of the woodwork, comes Lucyrat! You wouldn’t happen to know a French rat named Remy, would you? He loves cheese, too. Bet you’d share with him if he promised to make you a nice cheese soufflé!

      • heylookawriterfellow February 2, 2015 at 8:29 am #

        Oh, I do apologize for Lucy. She knows she’s not allowed on my computer.

        Looks like I gotta change my passwords. Again.

        • Jilanne Hoffmann February 2, 2015 at 9:44 am #

          I think Lucy needs to do a bit of time in time out, but she’ll probably be paying you off with some sort of goody from the 7-11.

        • heylookawriterfellow February 2, 2015 at 9:46 am #

          I’m afraid not. All of her profits are sent to an offshore account.

        • Jilanne Hoffmann February 2, 2015 at 10:01 am #

          Let me guess. Both of your names are on the account. Does Ellen know about this?

  9. Lady Fancifull January 31, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    I hope the author got a big far grant from the Cheese Marketing Council (if the organisation doesn’t exist, someone should invent it). Not to mention that he should be in line for a lot of gRATitude from Rattus rattus.

    I think I’ll go now…PS CATS rather like cheese, as well as liking RATS. For pretty well the same sort of reasons as I like chocolate (and cheese) Though rarely together.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 31, 2015 at 9:55 am #

      Oh, couldn’t you see a group of cats sitting around a campfire making feline s’mores? Two strips of bacon on the outside, cheese melted on the inside with a nicely toasted rat in between. All of the cats of the world are drooling, just thinking about this right now.

  10. Margarita January 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Makes me wish I had a little one at home to read to, Jilanne. This sounds delightful! xoxoM

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

      Oh, it is! The next time you’re at the library, take a peek. It will charm your inner child. 😀

  11. readingwithrhythm January 31, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    This tale sounds hilarious! And all these comments are a great add on!!! Thanks for sharing it all!! Will be looking for this one!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann January 31, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

      Please pay no attention to Lucy, the rat. She’s very opinionated. 😀

      • lucyrat February 2, 2015 at 8:34 am #

        You say “opinionated” like it’s a bad thing.

        Well, I don’t have time to stand around and jaw. I gotta date with a 7-11 storeroom. Would you be interested in some black market cigarettes?

        • Jilanne Hoffmann February 2, 2015 at 9:42 am #

          No, but if you can score me a box of Mounds bars, all is forgiven.

  12. The Picture Book Review January 31, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    I’ve added it to my library holds list. This looks like a great book to teach without preaching. 🙂 Thank you for the recommendation!

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