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Rotten Ralph (Rotten Ralph)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  312 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Ralph, a very, very nasty cat, finally sees the error of his ways -- or does he?
Paperback, 48 pages
Published February 19th 1980 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published November 30th 1975)
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The Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussKitten's First Full Moon by Kevin HenkesMillions of Cats by Wanda GágPuss in Boots by Charles PerraultSkippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
Picture Books about Cats
74th out of 383 books — 180 voters
Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Great "Cat" Books
309th out of 1,089 books — 626 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 30, 2011 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sophie - when she's older
Shelves: picture-books
I decided to read Rotten Ralph today because of my Aunt Lois. Today would be her birthday. On one of her visits, we had this book checked out from the library, and she found it absolutely hilarious! I can still hear her saying, "You are rotten, Ralph!" So in memory of Aunt Lois, the kindest and most wonderful of aunts, here goes.

Aunt Lois was right - this is hilarious. Ralph is the rottenest cat you can imagine. Before you read a word of the story, you can see in the cover illustration that he h
Dec 15, 2009 h rated it really liked it
falls in the category of scary 1970s-ish entertainment for children like the dark crystal. the illustrations are headache-inducing acid art kind of like r. crumb. the kind of book you'd read to your kid if you were the type to threaten them with abandonment at the orphanage when they're naughty.
Oct 27, 2014 NebraskaIcebergs rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
How could I have taken so long to discover Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos? In 2006, Rotten Ralph celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. To date, there are at least nineteen books about Rotten Ralph. Moreover, Rotten Ralph had at one time been so popular, a thirty-minute television show based on the characters aired for one year. Yet this October is the first time I read this humorous tale.

The story line of Rotten Ralph, the book for which Jack Gantos gained his fame, is an interesting one. Gantos st
Dec 03, 2012 Dolly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2012
This is the first story in the Rotten Ralph series by Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel. It explains how Rotten Ralph becomes only slightly less rotten.

I didn't really like this book, but our youngest loved it, so I suppose there's something about it that appeals to young children. The narrative was irritating and depicts deplorable behavior. The fact that he is just dumped off is sad, and I know that I've emphasized to our girls that a pet is adopted for life, not until they are inconvenient.

The i
Aug 09, 2009 Katiesmurphy rated it it was amazing
rediscovered this, reading to E, my childhood copy. I love it just as much now. So does E, she picks it regularly and has a little banter with Ralph and the characters and notices lots of fun details in the pictures. "You are a very hard cat to love, Ralph" is a great line. Dad, are you sure you didn't write this? The story, characters and even the illustrations make me think you did.
Erin Ramai
This text introduces Rotten Ralph and Sarah to the early-primary-grades reader. It explains in very simple terms that Ralph is "Sarah's rotten cat, but Sarah loves him anyway." When she practices ballet, he makes fun of her. When she's swinging, he saws the branch off the tree that her swing is tied to. He ruins her party by taking a bite out of every one of her cookies. Ralph sits in her father's chair and blows bubbles out of his pipe. During dinner he rides his bike into the dining room and ...more
Feb 05, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Rotten Ralph is simply one of those books that just appealed to me. Ralph is rotten, just plain rotten and he exhibits this in all of his evil actions and behaviors. However, deep down, I don't really believe Ralph is that rotten. He has fun and it is misinterpreted often times such as when he makes fun of Sarah when she practices ballet or when he sits in his father's chair to be cruel. One day, Ralph, Sarah and the family go to the circus. Ralph seems to fit in quite well at the circus where ...more
The Book Maven
It's kind of impossible to not like this book, despite the jarringly juvenile illustrations and absurd storyline about the truly wretched, mischievous cat named Ralph. (I'm a cat owner and even I was appalled by the orneriness of Ralph.) His folks love him, of course, but even they have their limits when Ralph disrupts an evening at the circus. As punishment, they leave him there, and Ralph learns how hard life can be when you are forced to be with people who don't have to love you. Of course th ...more
Dan Fleming
Mar 15, 2011 Dan Fleming rated it it was amazing
Rotten Ralph was first published in 1976, and continued to be published until 2005. Jack Gantos is a master with the pen. He has had plenty of time to sit and think and write brillent work. This particlular book is a micheveous red cat who enjoys playing pranks on his family. Jack Gantos wrote these books to be fun and emotionaly engaging. He wants a young reader to have a good laugh while taking a look at Ralph’s world of rotten behavior and Sarah’s uncondional love and then reflect on the ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-310
Ralph is a rotten cat who makes his family very angry. His family (human family) tells him to behave, and he doesn't listen. They decide to leave him at a circus because he caused such a ruckus. The story has a happy ending when Ralph sneaks away from the circus where the animals made him suffer.
This book has a good lesson, because in the end, Ralph realizes how much he took for granted and how much he truly loves his family. However, I didn't enjoy the illustrations. I probably wouldn't recomme
Meagan Furnia
Apr 15, 2014 Meagan Furnia rated it really liked it
This book is about a girl named Sarah and her rotten cat named Ralph. He is constantly getting into trouble because he misbehaves and is just plain nasty. When Ralph is left behind at the circus, he learns just how great he had it when he was living with Sarah and her family. I think this is a good story for kids because they can see how misbehaving and being bad can affect the people who love you.
Christiana Tarpley
Sep 26, 2011 Christiana Tarpley rated it really liked it
Shelves: sequence, retell
What a great book! This could be used in the class for the students to infer the story from looking at the pictures. The students could create their own story of rotten ralph just by looking at the pictures. After finishing creating the class's own story, we could read the book and see if their are any similiarities or differences between our story and the author's original story. Great pictures (and story!)
Skylar Burris
Nov 12, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
The cover involves an evil looking kitty sitting on the bed with a decapitated doll in his hands. OF COURSE my daughter wanted to read it. Sinister cat misbehaves, pays for it, and regrets his misdeeds. I guess it's a subliminal way of warning one's child to shape up. Here's hoping it works. She said she thought the book was "Really great." The nurturing adult in me is a little disturbed, but the sinister kid in me...Yeah, what can I say, I like Rotten Ralph.
Apr 23, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
I found this book at my library and it reminded me of how much I loved it as a child. The story of Ralph, a cat who is just rotten to the family that owns him, espcially the little girl who loves him. On a trip to the circus, he goes too far with his mean actions, and is left behind. It is when he is left alone and on his own, that he realizes not only how terrible he was, but how lucky he had been.
Jan 18, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: bad-behavior
This book would be good for talking about behavior and treating people well. The students can see as they read how bad behavior effects them and others around them. This book can emphasize how much we take things for granted and make people around them feel unappreciated. As a class we can go over alternatives to behaving badly and what makes our friends and family feel good about being around us.
Eugene Magee
This is a great book to teach children what happens if you are selfish and misbehave. It also shows that you are responsible for you behavior, and you will have to suffer the consequences for you bad behavior. It also teaches that someone still loves you when you misbehave, and you can always change your selfish behavior.
Kathryn Hogan
Jan 25, 2012 Kathryn Hogan rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book. It shows that everyone should be appriciative for what they have and enjoy having loved ones and not taking them for granted. There is no need to take advantage of your loved ones by being spoiled and rotten. The book also shows that your family and friends love you no matter what. Good book for learning lessons.
Sep 10, 2010 Katherine rated it liked it
"Rotten Ralph" is a very different kind of children's book, but that is what makes it a great story. It very much a prediction book in my opinion, it will be fun asking the children questions like "What do you think Ralph will do next?" The illustrations are very beautiful and it is a very enjoyable book with a touching lesson in the end.
Feb 09, 2012 Jen rated it it was ok
Rotten Ralph is really rotten and is drawn very well (and rotten). I loved the first part, but I didn't like the way the story progressed. Ralph is abused at the circus and the left to live on the streets where he's afraid and starving. Redemption story, I guess, but a weird choice for a book aimed at kids.
Carol Royce Owen
Aug 29, 2012 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
I love Jack Gantos's books but this is the first picture book of his that I have read. It was pretty predictable but still you have to take pity on Rotten Ralph who is left at the circus after being so bad. Ralph quickly learns how good he had it with Sarah and her family, but he doesn't know how he'll ever get back to the good life he had.
Kerri Harshaw
A story of a cat named Ralph that finds himself in constant mischief. When his family left him at the circus, he realized how much he missed them. The funny situations Ralph gets himself in will make the children laugh. This book also teaches children that sometimes home is the best place to be.
Sarah Ziskend
Mar 12, 2013 Sarah Ziskend rated it it was ok
Shelves: ece-3601, acting-out
Good to teach about if people are "rotten" or not

Could do an activity where the children write different endings/ what happened with the lobsters at the end

Conversation with older children (4th and up) about if people can change
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne added it
Shelves: children
This is defiantly NOT politically correct. Ralph is incredibly rotten and the family abandons him), but it is a wonderful story about loving the rotten cat, even when he is completely unlovable. Love conquers all and all that mush.
Feb 05, 2013 Alice rated it liked it
Ah Rotten Ralph...A truly rotten lovable cat. I liked the other Rotten Ralph and 9 lives was really funny and this one wasn't bad. I do not care for the illustrations but I do like the story so I will deal!
Oct 10, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing
What can I say? It's a childhood favorite. It's the book I use when I am asked what my favorite book is. That rotten cat. But he learns his lesson and turns into a good kitty--for the most part anyway.
Aug 25, 2014 jacky rated it liked it
I loved Dead in Norvelt, so I was excited to read this picture book by the same author. Natalie and I both enjoyed how rotten Ralph was because sometimes its fun to read about a very naughty character. We both felt sad for him when he was left behind though.
Feb 04, 2013 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ed-310
This book is alright for older children, 5th grade or so. I wouldn't recommend it for younger kids because the cat is so mischievous and naughty. The illustrations are decent but overall I wouldn't say it was my favorite.
Jul 31, 2014 Lata rated it really liked it
The illustrations alone make me laugh, every time I read this to my two daughters. I only worry that Ralph's rotten deeds are giving my girls some bad ideas.
Jul 23, 2011 Theresa rated it it was ok
Shelves: review
found on a list of great picture books for kids, the story of redemtion of a cat who does many things wrong and finds that there is no place like home
Dec 19, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Her father thinks that Ralph belongs at the circus and leaves him there. But it was a lot of work sweeping the popcorn and watering the camels, so he runs away. The family is happy to see him again.
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Jack Gantos is an American author of children's books renowned for his portrayal of fictional Joey Pigza, a boy with ADHD, and many other well known characters such as Rotten Ralph, Jack Henry, Jack Gantos (memoirs) and others. Gantos has won a number of awards, including the Newbery, the Newbery Honor, the Scott O'Dell Award, the Printz Honor, and the Sibert Honor from the American Library ...more
More about Jack Gantos...

Other Books in the Series

Rotten Ralph (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph
  • Back to School for Rotten Ralph
  • Worse Than Rotten, Ralph (Rotten Ralph (Paperback))
  • Rotten Ralph's Trick or Treat
  • Rotten Ralph Helps Out [With Hardcover Book]
  • Rotten Ralph's Rotten Romance
  • Rotten Ralph's Show and Tell
  • Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten
  • Not So Rotten Ralph Book & Cassette
  • Happy Birthday Rotten Ralph

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