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Hooway for Wodney Wat

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  2,938 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Poor Rodney Rat can't pronounce his R's and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney's class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them. Until our unwitting hero, Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 27th 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1999)
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American Library Association Notable Book Award (2000)
Monarch Award (2005)

I truly enjoyed Hooway for Wodney Wat. Helen Lester always entertains young readers. Wodney Wat has a problem. He pronounces Rs like Ws. The other rodents ruthlessly tease him. One day, a new student-a very large rodent, named Camilla Capybara, barges into class. All the rodents are frightened by this larger and smarter rodent. When Wodney Wat is named the leader in Simon Says, his speaking deficit becomes his greatest str...more
Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester is a book about bullying, concerning someone with a speech impediment. Rodney is teased by other rodents because he can't pronounce his R's. When Camilla Capybara joins Rodney's class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. Rodney manages to outwit her during a game of Simon Says, saving the day.

Hooway for Woodney Wat has plenty of humor. Everyone is happy to see the underdog, er underrat, tri...more
Katie Fitzgerald
I have a major problem with this book. I read it for a conference I will attend this Fall. It's part of a group of books on the theme of bullying. I think children's books about bullying are used to serve two main purposes. One is to teach the lesson that picking on each other is wrong and the other is to help kids who are bullied feel like they're not the only ones, and learn strategies to help them cope with bullies. Hooway for Wodney Wat sends a message that doesn't suit either of those purpo...more
Wodney suffers from a common problem - he says w instead of r. That in and of itself should have been okay, but he's shown being teased mercilessly by the other students. No adult notices and steps in, even when he's unable to speak up in class and either totally ostracised or - slightly better - so shy from this treatment that he avoids the other rodents entirely and never even pokes his head out of his jacket.

This is realistic enough - unfortunately - but that doesn't make it pleasant for me t...more
Hooway for Wodney Wat has won countless awards for its exceptional story. The story teaches children about empathy for differences amongst their peers. In this story, we have Rodney Rat who can not pronounce the letter ‘r’. He pronounces his name as Wodney Wat due to his inability to pronounce the ‘r’. His classmates tease him continuously because of his speech impediment making Rodney Rat feel miserable and friendless. His status amongst his classmates changes when he is able to outsmart the bu...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Sorry - I just can't get behind the lesson that it's ok to be mean to bullies. Camilla was the new kid; surely there's a way to help her learn to be nice without kicking her out of town? And the first bullies, the classmates, suffered very little, given all the times they picked on our hero. It's a mixed message - either children are supposed to be punished, or to be guided to better behavior? Lester doesn't choose.

Well, upon thinking about it, I guess that's life. Realistically ambiguous. And I...more
Lindsay Fischer
"Hooway for Wodney Wat" is a charming story about a young rat who has a speech impediment. Rodney is the main character and he can't pronounce his Rs. All of the children tease him for his problem and he becomes very shy. One day a new student named Camilla joins the class. She is the biggest rodent at the school and the meanest bully. All the students are afraid of her. Rodney is chosen to lead the games at recess and he makes his limitations his strengths when he gets rid of Camilla once and...more
Julia Stevens
I have a little cousin who has a hard time pronouncing his C's. This story is so empowering for children like him who may have some type of speech impediment. This story could also provide a lesson in bully prevention.
Madison Snow
Wodney is a rat really named Rodney that cannot pronounce his "R's". The illustrations are cute throughout the book of him and his classmates who are also rats. It begins with Rodney getting bullied and hardly speaking because of his speech. Until one day a bigger, smarter, meaner rat named Camilla Capbara comes to town. All the rats are scared of her until Rodney is chosen to be Simon in Simon Says. During Simon Says, Camilla does not understand Rodney like the other students and does all the c...more
Oct 23, 2010 Relyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
I have loved this book for a long, long time. It is perfect and beautiful. It also leads to fantastic conversations about character and bullying. Plus, it's fantastic to read aloud.
Brittany Steadman
I really liked this book because it send a really strong message to children about the subject of bullying. Rodney is a rat who is made fun of by all his classmates because he can't pronounce the letter R. They also make fun of Rodney because he can't pronounce his name. Then, Camilla, the new school bully enters the school. Everything changes because she is bigger and stronger than everyone else. In the end, what everyone thought to be Rodney's weakness, turns out to save the day. I also loved...more
Sam Willis
I thought this was a decent book. Wodney Wat is actually Rodney Rat, but can't pronounce his Rs so he gets made fun of by the rest of the class. The rest of the class are bullying him until an even bigger bully comes along and starts bullying them. Wodney ends up tricking the bigger bully into leaving forever and the rest of the class hails him as a hero. It doesn't really go into how to deal with bullying though. Unless you somehow do something to become the classroom savior or have somebody bi...more
Jade Detzer
The book itself is about a character who is bullied by the entire class. Once a new student, a bigger bully, enters the classroom, the underdog main character, bullies the bully and is essentially shown as the hero. I can see the happiness in the story due to Wodney sticking up for himself, but I can also see how this book doesn't leave a good message since he became a bully in the end and then is celebrated by his classmates. I always liked the book when I was younger, but now that I can see th...more
Katherine Kim
Hooway for Wodney Wat is an excellent book! It is about a rat that cannot pronounce his 'r's correctly and other rats tease him about; until, one day, a mean rat bullies all the children in the class. Wodney the Wat finds confidence in himself and his speech when he is able to stop the mean rat from bullying his classmates. This may be good for students who may struggle with pronounciation and/or reading. This also may be a good book to use to touch on the theme of bullying. I would recommend th...more
Brianna Jones
Genre: Picture book

Reading Level: Early- transitional 5-8

Topics and Themes: Bullying, overcoming obstacles. Wodney is subjected to daily bullying because of his speech impediment, but ends up saving all of his classmates from an even bigger bully.

Curricular Use: Read-Aloud

Social: Deals with the issue of bullying. The students pick on Rodney until an even bigger bully comes to the school and picks on everyone. When Rodney runs off the bully during a game of Simon says all the other children rea...more
Here's the thing: I have heard about this book for quite some time now, and was looking forward to it. I even really enjoyed it until Camilla Capybara shows up. I thought it described in excellent language how it feels to be teased for something you can't seem to control, and how teasing can easily turn into bullying if it goes too far. However, then the capybara shows up and becomes the biggest bully of them all. As an adult, to me it's clear that she's probably insecure and trying to clear a s...more
Hooray for Wodney Wat is a book about a young rat who has trouble pronouncing his R's. In school, the other children make fun of him. It makes him sad and he usually doesn't speak up in class because of this. However, when the teacher calls on him to lead the game, he finds his difficulties with prononucing he letter R actually ends up making him "The Hero." Though there is no rhyming, the book has an easy flow that makes it a nice read for children to enjoy. There are a lot of illustrations on...more
Alex Tierney
Hooway For Wodney Wat is about a rat named Rodney who cannot pronounce the letter "r." The children at school make fun of him for this and Rodney feels very left out from all the activties that the other kids in his class do. One day a new student comes to class named Camilla Capybara who thinks that she is bigger, smarter and meaner than all of the other kids in the class. Rodney is scared of her, but when he becomes leader of Simon Says one day, Camilla does not understand that Rodney can't sa...more
I think Hooway for Wodney Wat is a great book to help teach about differences. It is the story of Rodney Rat who can’t pronounce his r’s. This means poor Rodney is Wodney Wat the Wodent. He is often teased in school and for this reason is very shy&doesn’t “squeak” up very often. Until one day when a new student came to class, Camilla Capybara. Camilla is big and she is mean. At recess Wodney’s name gets drawn to lead Simon Says. Everyone else in the class is use to Rodney’s speech but not Ca...more
Rodney Rat can't pronounce his r's. The other rodents at school make fun of him. He hides in his jacket and doesn't have much confidence. A new rodent Camilla Capybara moves into class who is bigger, meaner and smarter. All of the rodents are scared of her. At recess Rodney is chosen to be the leader in Simon Says. He is scared to death she will make fun of him. Because he can't pronounce his r's what he actually is saying isn't what she thinks he is saying. Camilla does all sorts of funny thing...more
Brittney Griffith
"Hooway for Wodney Wat" is a wonderful book about a small rat named Rodney who is attending school at PS 142 Elementary School for Rodents. The only thing is, Rodney cannot pronounce his "R"s and all of the other kids give him so much trouble about it. They trick him into using words that use r's like train, which for Rodney comes out as "twain'. Poor Rodney is so sad and alone at school from being bullied by his peers. But one day, PS 142 receives a new student, Camilla Capybara. She is bigger,...more
Andrea Wickenhagen
Poor little Wodney Wat could not pronounce his R's, he couldn't even say his real name Rodney Rat. Everyone at P.S 142 Elementary School for Rodents made fun of Wodney. "What's another name for bunny?" they would ask Wodney and he would reply "Wabbit." Everyone poked fun at poor little Wodney that he was the shyest rodent in elementary school. He as lunch alone and would hide in his jacket at recess not playing with any of the other students. Until one day Camilla Capybara came to school. She wa...more
Oct 24, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We borrowed this book from our local library as part of a kit with a paperback book and CD. We enjoyed listening to the book narrated by Cheryl McMahon as we followed along with the book. Her narration was quite entertaining, especially with the characters Rodney and Camilla. While I will use character voices and ham it up with our girls, it's fun to listen to the professionals.

This tale tells how Rodney rids the class of a big bully simply through speaking with a lisp. It's somewhat of a stran...more
Ramanda Flannery
This book is about a little rat that can not pronounce his R's and is made fun of everyday at school. A new girl comes into their classroom and she is very big and lets it be known that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than anyone in the class. Rodney is chosen to be the leader in simon says at recess as he starts the game with his first command the new girl does not know that rodney can not pronounce his R's and does something completely different than what he says. The game continues like th...more
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This book is amazing!

About a week ago, I wrote in my blog that we were having some issues being mean in our classroom. Someone recommended that I read this book, so I checked it out! I'd heard of it before but I don't think I ever read it, and I didn't pre-read it before I read it out loud!

Anyway, it is the story of a little rat who can't say his Rs. Hence... Wodney Wat. The other kids make fun of him, but then a new girl comes to school who is a big bully and Wodney's speech issue saves the day...more
I *really* hated this book.

Rodney, who has trouble with his R's is teased mercilessly by his classmates. So much so that he never talks in class and hides all day.

Then an even bigger bully than his classmates shows up who terrorizes everyone. Wodney is considered a hero when (because of the fact that he has trouble with his R's and all his classmates *other* than the new kid know this) he "tricks" the bully into making a fool of herself and leaving the school for good. And then the "happy" endi...more
Shelby Royalty
This book is about a rat named Rodney, but he is unable to pronounce his "R's." All of his classmates make fun of him, but in the end, he becomes the "hero." I, personally, loved this book. It was humorous and taught a very valuable lesson. I would definitely use this book with younger grades, or even older children if I could find a way to make it fit.
Rodney Rat has a common early-childhood speech problem: his "r's" become "w's" while speaking. Hence he says his name Wodney Wat. Well the other at school tease him mercilessly. But one day, Camilla Capybara shows up and begins to bully everyone. Rodney uses this to his advantage when it's time to play the class's favorite game: Simon Says. When Rodney tells everyone to "wake up the leaves" his classmates grab rakes and begin raking. Camilla, on the other hand, begins to yell...more
Megan Marvel
*Spoiler* I was going to rate this book higher until I got to the end. The kids (rodents) don't work out their problems. They "kick" a schoolmate out of their group and laugh about it. Not a good lesson for kids. It would have been better if they had resolved the issues with Camilla instead of making her feel bad.
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