Title: The Rodent Reader Quarterly
Issue: Jan. Feb. Mar. 2010
Editor in Chief: Keela Scott
Managing Editor: Mil Scott
Publisher: Mil Scott/The Rodent Reader Quarterly/Rodent Reader Press
Released: December 2009
I have known writer and rat aficionado Mil Scott for several years now through an online friendship and I was delighted to be asked to review the introductory issue of her very creative and colourful magazine for rattie lovers everywhere. Being a rat owner myself (2 males named Bob & Simon, The Boomtown Rats who I have come to adore), I was very curious about The Rodent Reader Quarterly – A Magazine of AristocRATS, Artists O’ RATS and Insane RAT Love.
Editor in Chief Keela Scott is in fact a pretty white rat herself and you know what? She’s a pretty good writer too! Her first hand viewpoint of life as one very fortunate rat from the rat-loving home of Mil and Andre Scott is charming and her “scrumptious smorgasbord of articles and pictures and poems and stories” all about rats is downright super cute and entirely appealing to this rat owner.
It must be said that Mil Scott, who acts as chief writer and managing editor of The Rodent Reader Quarterly is not only a rat aficionado, member of R.A.T.S. (Rat Assistance & Teaching Society) and The Rat Fan Club (founded by Debbie Ducommun) but also a member of American Mensa which means she’s one smart lady.
The introductory issue gives the reader A Brief Lesson in the Magazine Business and How This Applies to The Rodent Reader Quarterly: an advertising free publication, published four times per year by Rodent Reader Press, this magazine’s print subscription is $31.95/yr. including postage within the US and is available in a preview/abridged version in PDF format (14 pages) for $14.95 worldwide.
We also learn about animal lovers Mil and Andre’s first rat, Molly, who Mil found under a mailbox, rescued and brought home to care for. As it turned out Molly was pregnant at the time and two weeks later her two sons Noonan and Flannery were born! Thus began Mil and Andre’s adventure into a brand new RATtastic world!
One of my favourite things about this magazine is the adorable photographs of very photogenic rats in an amazing array of creative costumes created by Marna Kazmater. You can see many of her creations at The Agile Rat. The pictures in this magazine could convince those who loathe rats and think of them as vermin-carrying rodents to consider them in an entirely different light!
In this issue we’re also given a profile of artist Manon Cleary whose paintings of rats are so life-like they look like photographs! There’s also Mailbox Molly – A Rat’s Eye View, a story about the life of Molly and her two sons Flannery and Noonan, their parents and all their rat friends and a Valentine’s Day poem called Edison in Love about Edison rat and his beloved Orvietta. Mil also writes about her local vet, Dr. Robert Blease, “who not only runs an animal hospital, but also started a non-profit organization/no-kill shelter called Common Sense for Animals way back in 1990, which is still in operation today.” Mil tells the heartwarming and remarkable story And The Lion Lay Down With The Lamb about the loving Orvietta, who after giving birth to 10 babies, and then a few weeks later 14 more, found herself a surrogate mother for 8 wild barn rattlings who had been found in an old barn when the owner started tearing out a wall, and later turned out to in fact be baby mice!
This wonderful magazine also dispels rat myths and misconceptions and offers a bit of good advice for pet rat purchasers. I know for a fact that Mil gave me lots of good advice when I decided to become a rat owner and in fact, Keela and my Simon, correspond with each other via Facebook.
Keela’s Reviews, “a look at books, movies (and most anything else she feels like ranting about) from a rat’s viewpoint” is perhaps the weakest link in an otherwise wonderful magazine and I am saying that because in her review of the movie Miss Potter she never once mentioned who starred in the movie, or much about the film’s strengths and weaknesses, but rather goes on and on about Beatrix Potter and her books. She also reviews The Tale of Samuel Whiskers by Beatrix Potter which she didn’t care for much in comparison to the portrayal of rat Justin in Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH or Montague in A Rat’s Tale.
Overall, the introductory issue of The Rodent Reader Quarterly is well-written, endearing, chock full of adorable photographs and sketches of rats, and full of interesting and valuable information for rat lovers. It’s a very specific niche publication that will likely appeal primarily to rat owners, but animal lovers in general will definitely appreciate it. I sure did!
You can find Mil and Keela Scott on Facebook (and MySpace) and there’s even a fan page for The Rodent Reader Quarterly where you can see more adorable rattie pics and learn everything you could possibly want to know about them.