Cover image for Toad rage
Title:
Toad rage
Author:
Gleitzman, Morris.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, 2004.

©1999
Physical Description:
165 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Determined to understand why humans hate cane toads and to improve relations between the species, Limpy embarks on a dangerous trek from his swamp to the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
General Note:
Sequel: Toad heaven.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 4.0 80068.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.3 8 Quiz: 39345 Guided reading level: Q.
ISBN:
9780375827624

9780375927621
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Limpy's family reckons humans don't hate cane toads, but Limpy knows otherwise. He's spotted the signs: the cross looks, the unkind comments, the way they squash cane toads with their cars. Limpy is desperate to save his species from ending up as pancakes. Somehow he must make humans see how fabulous cane toads really are. Risking everything, he sets off on a wart-tinglingly dangerous and daring journey to . . . the Olympics? This is the epic story of a slightly squashed young cane toad's quest for the truth.


Author Notes

Morris Gleitzman was born in 1953 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1969. Morris began his writing career as a screenwriter, and wrote his first children's novel in 1985. Before he began to write full time, he held various jobs as a paperboy, department store Santa Claus, fashion-design assistant and sugar-mill employee. In between, he managed to earn a degree in Professional Writing at the Canberra College of Advanced Education. Later he became sole writer for three award-winning and top-rating seasons with the TV comedy series The Norman Gunston Show.

Gleitzman has written a number of film and television movie screenplays, including The Other Facts of Life and Second Childhood, both produced by The Australian Children's Television Foundation. The Other Facts of Life won the 1985 AWGIE Award for the Best Original Children's Film Script. Gleitzman has also written live stage material for Rolf Harris, Pamela Stephenson and the Governor General of Australia. Morris is also well known through his semi-autobiographical columns in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald magazine, Good Weekend, from which he has retired after nine years. Collections of his columns have been published by Pan Macmillan in Just Looking and Gleitzman on Saturday, and by Penguin in Self Helpless.

One of his most successful books for young people is Two Weeks with the Queen, an international bestseller which was also adapted into a play by Mary Morris. The play had many successful seasons in Australia and was produced at the National Theatre in London in 1995.

His other books have been either shortlisted for, or have won numerous children's book prizes around the country. These include The Other Facts of Life, Second Childhood, Misery Guts, Worry Warts, Puppy Fat, Blabber Mouth, Sticky Beak, Belly Flop, Water Wings, Bumface, Gift Of The Gab, Toad Rage, Wicked! and Deadly!, two six-part novels written in collaboration with Paul Jennings, Adults Only, Toad Heaven, Boy Overboard, Teacher's Pet, and his latest book, Toad Away. Gleitzman's children's books have been published in the UK, the USA, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden and Finland. Gleitzman himself was voted Favourite Australian Author for 1999 in the Dymocks Booksellers Children's Choice Awards. Bumface was voted Second Most Popular Children's Book Of All Time in the 1999 Angus & Robertson National Readers' Survey. He is also an Astrid Lindgren award nominee. Morris Gleitzman was nominated for a 2016 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medal in the Australian author and ilustrator category. In 2016, his book Soon won the 2016 Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award, Young Readers and and the 2016 Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALAs) for Fiction for years 7-9. He was also named the 2018-2019 Australian Children's Laureate. The theme for his two-year term will be Stories Make Us - Stories Create Our Future.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. In this amusing Australian import, readers get an amphibian's perspective on road kill. Limpy, a young cane toad, is horrified at how many of his family members have tragically died, flat as a pancake, on the road. He cannot understand why humans seem to go out of their way to run over toads. Desperate to save the rest of his family from the wheels of passing cars, Limpy decides he must do something to close the rift in human-toad relations, and he embarks on a risky campaign to show humans how nice cane toads can be. This funny tale of one toad's bold quest to reach out to another species will give readers plenty of laughs. --Ed Sullivan Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

"Never trust a human." Those are the last words of cane toad Limpy's Uncle Preston, "the ones he'd said just before he was flattened by a funeral procession," in Australian writer Gleitzman's (Two Weeks with the Queen) hilarious dark comedy. In fact Limpy has watched countless relatives get run over by highway traffic and, out of deference, rolls up their dried bodies, takes them home and stockpiles them ("Well, don't just leave him lying around in your room," says Limpy's Mum on one such occasion. "That room's a pigsty. I'm tired of tidying up dead relatives in there"). Not content to accept his parents' explanations for his family's advanced mortality rate (all the really nutritious flies hang out near the highway), Limpy is convinced that humans hate cane toads, and he sets off on a farflung journey to find a human being and determine the cause of their enmity. Despite his dearly departed uncle's admonition, Limpy discovers that humans might not all be so bad, as he falls in with a female athlete who, he believes, will help him apply to become an Olympic Games mascot. While the book was originally published for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and some of the humor has to do with native Aussie animals' hurt feelings at being rejected as mascots, most of the comedy should travel well. Saucy fun from start to finish. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Young Limpy just can't figure out why humans hate his kind so much that they gleefully squash cane toads flat on the road every chance they get. Determined to be a goodwill ambassador, he sets off to change people's minds, but meets with nothing but vilification until he and his hapless cousin Goliath hitch a truck to the city and become involved in the hoopla surrounding a major athletic competition, The Games. Humor, both outrageously broad and tongue-in-cheek, permeates this tale of a toad that won't quit trying. The rollicking Australian slang (a glossary explains such expressions as "rack off" and "stack me") and the eye-popping adventures and characters make for a hugely funny read. Stack me, mate, one squiz at this book and kids will read it until they're puffed!-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1 "Uncle Bart," said Limpy. "Why do humans hate us?" Uncle Bart looked down at Limpy and smiled fondly. "Stack me, Limpy," he chuckled, "you are an idiot." Limpy felt his warts prickle with indignation as Uncle Bart hopped onto the road after a bull ant. No wonder I've never heard any other cane toad ask that question, thought Limpy, if that's the reply you get. Limpy was glad the grass at the edge of the highway was taller than he was. At least the millions of insects flying around the railway crossing light couldn't see who Uncle Bart was calling an idiot. "Humans don't hate us," Uncle Bart was saying, his mouth full of bull ant and grasshopper. "What are you on about? Stack me, some of the dopey ideas you youngsters come up with..." Limpy waited patiently for Uncle Bart to finish. Uncle Bart was his fattest uncle, and his bossiest. When Uncle Bart had a point to make, he liked to keep on making it until you gave in and looked convinced. Tonight, though, Limpy didn't give in. He didn't have to. When Uncle Bart was getting his mucus in a knot about how humans definitely didn't hate cane toads, a truck came roaring round the corner in a blaze of lights, straightened up, rumbled through the railway crossing, swerved across the road straight at Uncle Bart, and drove over him. Limpy trembled in the grass while the truck thundered past in a cloud of diesel fumes and flying grit. Then he hopped onto the road and looked down at what was left of Uncle Bart. The light overhead was very bright because it had a whole railway crossing to illuminate, and Limpy was able to see very clearly that Uncle Bart wasn't his fattest uncle anymore. Flattest, more like, he thought sadly. "See," he said quietly to Uncle Bart. "That's what I'm on about." "Har har har," chortled a nearby grasshopper. "Your uncle's a place mat. Serves him right." Limpy ignored the grasshopper and turned to watch the truck speeding away into the darkness. From the movement of its taillights he could tell it was weaving from side to side. Each time it weaved, he heard the distant "pop" of another relative being run over. "Yay," shouted the grasshopper. "More place mats." Limpy sighed. He decided not to eat the grasshopper. Mum was always warning him he'd get a bellyache if he ate when he was upset or angry. To take his mind off Uncle Bart, Limpy crossed the road to have a look at Uncle Roly. Uncle Roly was extremely flat too, but at least he was smiling. Which is what you'd expect, thought Limpy sadly, from your kindest uncle, even when he has been dead for two nights. Limpy reached forward and gently prodded Uncle Roly. He was dry and stiff. The hot Queensland sun had done its job. Limpy remembered how Uncle Roly had never been dry and stiff when he was alive. He'd always had a warm smile for everyone, even the family of holidaymakers two evenings ago who'd purposely aimed their car straight for him down the wrong side of the road. "Oh, Uncle Roly," whispered Limpy. "Couldn't you see the way they were looking at you?" Limpy shuddered as he remembered the scary expressions on the holidaymakers' faces. It was exactly the same look of hatred that had been on the face of the truck driver who'd tried to kill Limpy when he was little. I was lucky, thought Limpy sadly. When it happened to me, I'd only just finished being a tadpole. I had a pair of brand-new legs and I could hop almost completely out of the way. I only got one leg a bit squashed. Poor old Uncle Roly was completely flat before he knew what hit him. Limpy felt his crook leg start to ache, as it often did when he was sad and stressed. He gazed down at Uncle Roly's very wide smile and felt his throat sac start to wobble. Why? Why would a carload of humans purposely kill an uncle who had such a good heart that he was still smiling two nights after being run over by a station wagon and a caravan? I don't get it, thought Limpy. I can understand why grasshoppers and other insects don't like us. It's because we eat them. But we don't eat humans. We cant even fit them into our mouths. So why do they hate us? Limpy felt his warts tingle with determination. One day, he thought, I'll go to a human place and find out why and try to do something about it, even if I end up dry and stiff and flat myself. The thought made him feel weak and sick. "Time to go home, Uncle Roly," he said. Limpy picked Uncle Roly up, heaved him onto his shoulders, and hopped slowly back across the road to Uncle Bart. "Bye, Uncle Bart," said Limpy to the damp layer of pressed skin and flat warts on the tarmac. "I'll be back for you when you've dried out." He wondered if he'd find the courage to visit the humans before he saw Uncle Bart again. I need to get braver, he thought. But how? "Rack off, place mat," yelled the grasshopper. Ignoring all thoughts of bellyache, Limpy ate him. Practice, thought Limpy as he chewed, that's how. Chapter 2 "Oh no, Limpy," said Mum in exasperation. "You haven't brought home another dead relative." Limpy was too puffed to answer. Although the swamp where he lived wasn't very far from the highway, it was still a long haul for a skinny toad with a crook leg and a dried uncle on his back. "Well, just don't leave him lying around in your room, said Mum. "That room's a pigsty. I'm sick of tidying up dead relatives in there." "Mum," said Limpy. "Uncle Roly's your brother. Don't you care that he's been run over?" Mum gave a big sign and leaned against the leaf she'd been preparing dinner on. She put down to ants she'd been stuffing slugs with and closed her eyes. When she opened them, Limpy could see her throad sac was trembling. "Oh, Limpy," she said quietly. "Of course I care. But I've got hundreds of brothers and sisters. If I let myself get upset every time one of them's run over, I'll be a nervous wreck." From the Trade Paperback edition. Excerpted from Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.